LGU Albay rules no-man’s land within Mt. Mayon’s 6-km PDZ

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


LEGAZPI CITY --- The provincial government of Albay said that it will continuously enforce the “no-man’s land” rule in Mt. Mayon’s 6-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) after the resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in this city warned anew of possible lava dome collapse.


In an emergency meeting conducted early this week, Albay Gov. Noel Rosal enjoined the disaster responders from different government agencies and local government units in Albay to brace for a more serious situation which is likely to happen because of the present condition of Mt. Mayon which is perceived to generate pyroclastic flows.


The governor led the group discussion on certain measures to be adopted including the formulation of new guidelines if only to ensure the safety and security of the constituents once the disaster takes place.


The meeting also deliberated on different approaches that will strengthen the implementation of “no-man’s land” policy which means no human activity will be allowed in the permanent danger zone, especially the tilling of land in that area that involves a score of farmers.


Rosal also directed all LGUs to evacuate immediately their respective locals living or toiling within the 6-kilometer PDZ.


The warning of possible lava dome collapse that might cause pyroclastic flows was issued by Dr. Paul Alanis of Phivolcs. He said that if the disaster happens the southeast quadrant of the volcano facing Legazpi City, and the towns of Sto. Domingo, Daraga, and Camalig will directly be affected.


Phivolcs hoisted Alert Level 1 over Mayon Volcano on August 21, Sunday, after the volcano exhibited restiveness several days ago.


Alanis said the lava dome is continuously expanding due to the rising of gas from the deep of the volcano, thereby pushing the lava upward, a situation which poses great danger to the people in the danger zone.


Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), advised the LGUs to conduct re-evaluation and assessment on individuals who will be at risk once the disaster comes.


Daep said that the provincial government needs to get updated headcounts within the danger zone and to come up with necessary measures as part of the evacuation plan which is expected to happen in the midst of pandemic.


He also told the LGUs to determine the number of animals, specifically livestock, for possible evacuation including the identification of areas that can be used as evacuation sites.


The account of lava dome collapse and pyroclastic flow was made in the advent of rainy season and typhoons in the region.


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that the Bicol Region has started experiencing La Niña in August 2022. The phenomenon is expected to last until February 2023.


Melvin Almojuela, weather specialist II, said Bicol, specifically Albay, will be experiencing above normal rainfall due to La Niña occurrence.