Photo credit: Manila Bulletin
It’s Christmas in barely one week, and I feel for our countrymen in the Bicol Region, specifically those in Albay province, who are having sleepless nights over the possibility of a Mayon Volcano eruption. We don’t think, at this point, that they’re rejoicing over the holidays.
As of the latest bulletin from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) today, Dec. 19, humans and human activity are still not allowed in the identified 6-KM radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) as well as the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ). In addition, areas that are within 8 kilometers of the crater have been warned to look out for “increased volcanic activity.”
Phivolcs’ latest warning goes: “Alert Level 3 remains hoisted over Mayon Volcano. Since persistent high unrest is evident at present, the possibility of hazardous volcanic eruption is high.”
Because of its almost perfect cone, Mayon Volcano is considered one of the tourism landmarks of the Philippines. But it has also brought immense destruction as an active volcano which is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The latest were the mudslides caused by a typhoon in November 2006 which led to the death of an estimated 1000 people.
In the meantime, I can just hope the volcano’s latest danger signs will abate and will spare our Bicolano neighbors of much grief on Christmas Day and onwards.