By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) ordered on Tuesday the pre-emptive evacuation of thousands of residents living in the 9th Extended Danger Zoe (EDZ) as a countermeasure in preparation for the imminent raising of the volcano’s alert level to 5) by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Cedric Daep, APSEMO chief said the evacuation order was a preemptive disaster measure to keep safe residents living along the 9 EDZ once a full-blown explosive eruption takes place anytime soon.
Affected by the preemptive evacuation are villages in 9 EDZs covering the towns of Sto. Domingo, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, including the cities of Legazpi and Ligao. These areas are located in the southwest flank of the volcano where lava, pyroclastic flows, and heavy ash falls are occurring, Daep said,
Daep in a phone interview stressed that preemptive evacuation “is a one step forward” measure after Phivolcs raised the volcano’s alert level to Level 4, while anticipating for the hoisting of Alert Level 5 (hazardous eruption).
Phivolcs on Monday raised the volcano’s alert level to 4 after Mayon billowed two successive 10-km cauliflower type ash column sending heavy ash falls in the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan and Ligao City.
The volcano’s intense restiveness was followed by pyroclastic blasts, lava fountaining and flows Monday night.
Daep, when asked about the possible running out funds for disaster operations, said that they have already submitted a proposal asking for the immediate release of P100M augmentation funds from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).
The augmentation funds would finance relief, medical and sanitation operation, including infrastructure facilities in various evacuation centers.
Meanwhile, a total of two explosion-type earthquakes corresponding to the vertical column eruptions, fifteen tremor events, some corresponding to lava fountaining episodes, 35 rockfall events and two pyroclastic density currents or PDCs from lava collapse were recorded by Mayon’s seismic monitoring network Tuesday.
Rockfall events were generated by the collapsing lava front and margins of the advancing lava flow on the Miisi Gully and by shedding from the summit dome onto the Bonga Gully.
Dr Eduardo Laguerta, resident volcanologist in Bicol, said the pyroclastic materials are superheated at least 1,000 degrees Celsius while the flow’s speed is 100 kilometers per hour, which, he claimed, will increase due to the steepness of Mayon.
Report said, a dense, five-kilometer tall eruption column was generated Tuesday by a short-lived phreatomagmatic eruption at Mayon Volcano that lasted eight (8) minutes based on the seismic record.
The event generated pyroclastic density currents or PDCs on gullies and barrancos heading the Miisi, Bonga, Buyuan, Basud, San Andres, Buang, Anoling and other minor rivers within four kilometers of the summit vent, well within the Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), Laguerta said.
This was followed by a minor degassing event at 5:51 p.m. that generated a short, 500-meter-high ash plume.
Five episodes of intense but sporadic lava fountaining from the summit crater lasting 3 to 30 minutes occurred.
The lava fountains reached 500 meters to 700 meters high and generated ash plumes that reached 2.5 kilometers to 3 kilometers above the crater.
The events fed lava flows on the Miisi and Bonga Gullies, sprayed near-vent lava spatter and fed incandescent rockfall on the summit area during the past 24-hour observation period. with PNA report