MANILA — Despite the decrease of activities from Mayon Volcano, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said that the province cannot be complacent in the ongoing preparations.
Since Thursday, only four volcanic earthquakes and eight rockfall events were recorded by the Lignon Observatory, according to a bulletin released by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
The volcano’s status as of yesterday is still at Alert Level 3.
Phivolcs-Bicol chief volcanologist Ed Laguerte said that the almost patched up crater facing Legazpi City may mean that the lava could flow to any direction. This may endanger all cities and towns near and around the volcano.
“It’s now to whom it may concern,” said Salceda. “We cannot take chances that might compromise the safety of our residents. No way. The preparations would continue until, at least, the three-month long wait is over,” he added.
He noted that any changes in their contingency plans will only take effect depending on the announcement or recommendation of Phivolces.
“In fact, we already declared Albay as an open city, so that help would pour in without much bureaucratic hindrances,” Salceda added.
According to chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office Cedric Daep, the agency is already preparing for the needs of the evacuees. They are estimating the numbers to be at 11,000 families once the Phivolcs announce an Alert Level 4 status on the volcano.
“We had this many evacuees during the 2009 eruption episode of Mayon. We will brace for it again,” said Daep.
No fatality was recorded in the eruptions that happened in 2000, 2006, and 2009. The last explosion that took the province by surprise was in 1993 wherein 77 farmers died.
However on May 7, 2013, about five mountain climbers and a tour guide were killed when the volcano had a sudden phreatic explosion.