Philippines’ Mayon Volcano erupts; spews heavy lava and volcanic ash

Photo by Jijie Morico, NGCP Albay

 

January 23, 2018 (Philippine local time) – At around 9:40 in the evening yesterday, Mayon Volcano, in Albay province, erupted and discharged 500 to 700 meters of lava with a 4-km height of ash column.

 

“We heard a loud explosion and followed by small rumbling sound from the volcano. I can see that lava moving fast from Mayon’s crater. Sirens are everywhere. There are many ambulances, police cars and fire trucks now,” says World Vision staff, Donnie, who is based a few kilometers away from the affected area.

 

The volcano, which was on alert level 3 for the past few days, was raised to alert level 4 earlier yesterday.  The danger zone was already expanded to 8 kilometers from the volcano. Families who were still in their homes were forced to evacuate along with the other families who already evacuated.

 

Photo by Jijie Morico, NGCP Albay

 

As of partial information from the provincial disaster agency, the total number of evacuees has increased to 7,900 (30,269 persons).

 

Ash fall has also been happening in the affected towns. It provided almost zero visibility – challenging ongoing evacuation and rescue operations by the government.

 

The province of Albay has announced suspension of class in all levels both in the private and public school.

 

Photo by Jijie Morico, NGCP Albay

 

Flights going to Legazpi City in Albay and in neighboring city, Naga, are already cancelled as advised by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

 

Last January 16, the province was already placed under state of calamity following the volcano’s high unrest. This allows the province to use the government’s calamity fund for relief operations.

 

World Vision continues to monitor the emergency situation. An assessment team is on standby for a possible humanitarian response.World Vision/January 23, 2018

 

 

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