Mayon blasts steam as villagers evacuate

Second phreatic explosion of Mayon Volcano on Sunday morning, Jan. 14, 2018. (Renato Jao image)

MOUNT Mayon blasted superhot steam on Sunday morning as villagers within the six-kilometer danger zone of the volcano were ordered to evacuate for safety.

Based on the latest Phivolcs monitoring data, the volcano had another phreatic explosion at 8:49 a.m. Sunday.

The explosion lasted five minutes and four seconds and recorded continuing rockfalls at the southeastern quadrant of Mayon volcano, said Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Albay resident volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta.

Laguerta said ash plume in grayish color also came out from the volcano.

It was the second phreatic eruption of Mayon after Saturday afternoon’s steam-blast lasting two hours. It followed the raising of the volcano’s alert level to 2 on Sunday dawn by Phivolcs.

The Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) ordered the evacuation of residents in areas surrounding the Mayon Volcano to save lives amid its increasing activity.

The council ordered the evacuation of residents in the villages of Anoling, Quirangay, Sua, Tumpa, Tinubran Camalig; Tandarora, Maninila, all in the municipality of Guinobatan; Miisi, Budiao, Banadero, Matnog of the municipality of Daraga; barangays Calbayog and Canaway, Malilipot; Buang Buhian and Magapo of Tabaco City ; Baligang and Amtic in Ligao City.

Sto. Domingo town mayor Herbie Aguas ordered the residents within the slopes of the volcano who might be experiencing ashfalls to take precautionary measures against inhalation and possible roof collapse due to accumulated heavy ash and rain.

The villages of Lidong, Fidel Surtida, Sta. Misericordia, and San Fernando were placed on alert, preparedness and monitoring status.

Daraga town mayor Gerry Jaucian also ordered residents and the public to refrain from engaging in any human activity within the volcano’s six-kilometer permanent danger zone.

The Albay PDDRMC also directed all mayors in the affected areas to strictly monitor the activity of the volcano in the next 24 hours. p: wjg