LEGAZPI CITY: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday warned that the volatile behavior of Mayon Volcano indicates more magma build up that may lead to violent explosion.
“The system inside is not showing sign of instability. The longer the repose the more pressure beneath the restive volcano meaning more magma, so expect violent eruption,” said Phivolcs-Bicol Region Chief Laguerta during a press conference at Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office here.
The volcano has been on Alert Level 3 for the past 16 days, which means a new magma is building up with continuous degassing.
Laguerta said that in 1984, Mayon erupted violently after a two-week lull. This precursor is being exhibited again by the volcano after 30 years.
Mayon’s seismic network recorded one volcanic earthquake and three rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.
Moderate emission of white steam plumes drifting towards northeast was observed. Rain clouds covered the summit preventing visual observation.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) flux was measured at an average of 1421 tons per day on September 29. Ground deformation data showed no significant change from August based on September’s precise leveling survey although the edifice remains inflated compared to baseline measurements.
Tilt data also indicate continuous inflation at the base of the edifice since August. All the data indicate that the volcano is still in a state of unrest due to the movement of potentially eruptible magma.
The Mayon’s restiveness has displaced 12,462 families or 56,125 people who are now staying at temporary shelters.
The provincial health office said 486 people have been treated for various ailments.
Dr. Nathanial Rempillo said 235 were diagnosed with acute respiratory infection, 78 have fever, 37 complained of headache, 32 have high blood pressure, 30 have wounds and 21 were suffering from diarrhea.
Rempillo said 300 nurses were assigned at the evacuation camps to look after the evacuees.
“Each evacuation center has a hospital clinic extension manned by three nurses on a 12-hour shift. The Albay Health Emergency Management has 378 registered nurses paid P600 daily,” Salceda said.
“They are the provincial anchor presence in all the camps and they also serve as gatekeeper of the health and welfare of the camps. Each clinic is provisioned mainly by PHO but supplemented by the RHU. Each clinic serves as extension of a referral hospital e.g. BRTTH for 2nd district (Camalig and Daraga), Ziga for 1st district (Tabaco, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo) and Duran for the 3rd district (Guinobatan, Ligao),” the governor said.
Salceda also asked the Department of Trade and Industry in Albay to provide evacuees with livelihood opportunities.
DTI personnel visited the evacuation centers in Sto. Domingo and Malilipot towns to identify the skills of the evacuees who can work.
“This is an effort of the Livelihood and Economic Opportunity Cluster to make the evacuees more productive and earn money while encamped. We’re glad to know and see for ourselves that some of the evacuees are practicing entrepreneurship in simplest but practical form—they have transformed adversity into an economic opportunity—reflective of the Albayano’s innate resiliency,” said Salceda.