LEGAZPI CITY: With Mayon volcano possibly heading for an eruption, Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay said the province is prepared for the worst, as higher temperatures, massive drying up of wells, and exodus of animals were observed in the areas around the volcano.
“We are ready for a bombastic explosion of Mayon volcano. The government is ready should a repetition of 1814 and 1897 occur in 2014,” Salceda said during a press briefing here.
About 28,081 families or 133,325 people will be evacuated by the Albay provincial government in the event the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raises the alert status to level 3, Salceda said.
Phivolcs scientists have warned that a larger explosion is possible, because the hazardous explosion made by Mayon dates back to 1814 and 1897.
Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist chief in the Bicol region, told disaster officials in a meeting convened by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council led by Raffy Alejandro, Office of the Civil Defense regional director, said that a strong eruption by Mayon may happen this year.
“Strong eruption may happen this year since 2014 is an ‘overdue year’ for a large eruption. Dating back to the hundred-year span 1897 and 1814, years when Mayon volcano recorded its deadliest eruptions out of 49 big explosions,” Laguerta said.
He added that 2014 marks 200 years when the 1814 Plenian explosion took place, and more than 100 years from the 1897 Vulcanian eruption.
Based on historical account, Mayon volcano erupted violently over an interval of 100 years.
“It happened before, and it may happen again,” Laguerta said.
“We’re closely monitoring the activity of Mayon as lava dome is very visible within the crater measuring at least 200 meters wide,” he added.
Mayon’s last eruption was from July 2009 to January 2010, but with no casualty recorded. The restlessness of Mount Mayon is very significant, prompting all mayors in Albay to take action immediately in case the worst happens.
To attain the zero casualty goal of the Albay provincial government, Salceda ordered all local chief executives in the province to strictly enforce the no-human activity measure within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone of the restive volcano.