DARAGA, Philippines – The restive Mayon Volcano has alarmed residents of Albay even before Alert Level 3 was raised. Now, the volcano is starting to frighten the locals, with the earth trembling almost around the clock, accompanied by roaring sounds.
Analyn Lopez, 33, a resident of Alcala village this town, said that Mayon restive condition is frightening. “This means we have to move away from her foot for our safety,” Lopez, mother of three children, said.
“For almost 24 hours, we’re experiencing earth tremors with strong rumbling sounds, just like the thunderstorms, from beneath the volcano,” she said.
Lopez, along with her three children and husband Philip, fled their home to safety.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered the forcible evacuation of the Albayanos living around the slopes of the volcano after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) hoisted the alert level status of Mayon Volcano from level 2 to 3 earlier this week.
As of Wednesday, September 17, at least 32,000 people from the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto. Domingo, and Malilipot, and the cities of Ligao, Legazpi, and Tabaco, were evacuated to temporary evacuation shelters here.
Tens of thousands people are now being transported to various evacuation centers by government troops using military and private trucks.
“We need to ensure the safety of the people before the volcano erupts. We don’t want any single precious life will be endangered,” Salceda said.
Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist in Bicol, said Mayon may explode within days or in a few weeks.
“We want the people living within the 6-km PDZ and 7-8 kilometer extended zone to be evacuated to safer grounds, as once the volcano erupts, the associated pyroclastic flow is very dangerous. No one can survive from pyroclastic material flows,” Laguerta pointed out.
“[The pyroclastic material] is about 1,100 Celsius; temperature though, when ejected, is about 500 Celsius. Volcanic debris and all living things will be lifeless [if hit]. The travel time is faster than 60-km per hour downslope. We don’t want the repetition of 1993 incident wherein 77 farmers were roasted alive,” he said.
Wednesday’s Phivolcs bulletin showed that Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded at least 45 volcanic earthquakes and 277 rock fall events in the past 24-hour observation period. – Rappler.com
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