Philippines: NDCC Update - Sitrep No. 20 Mayon Volcano update

Situation Report
Originally published
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DATE: 31 December 2009, 7:00 AM



  • Alert Level 4 remains hoisted over Mayon Volcano which means that a hazardous eruption is possible within days. PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of eight kms at the southern sector of the volcano and seven kms at the northern sector should be free from human activity
  • PHIVOLCS recommends that areas just outside the EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event that hazardous explosive eruptions intensify; and active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar-prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall
  • PHIVOLCS further recommends that civil aviation authorities advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircraft
  • For the past 24 hours, one ash explosion occurred at Mayon Volcano which produced a dirty white ash column that rose to about 100 meters above the summit and drifted to the Northwest
  • Seismic activity was characterized by 150 tremor episodes and 16 volcanic earthquakes and the tremors were associated with rockfalls and lava flowing downslope while the earthquakes were probably generated by magma ascending inside the volcano
  • The sulfur dioxide emission rate of the volcano plume remained high at 4,397 tonnes per day which reflected active degassing from the crater area. Electronic tilt installed at the Northeast sector of the volcano still shows slight inflation
  • Red hot lava continued to flow down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies and has now reached approximately 5.9 kilometers downslope from the summit along the Bonga channels
  • At Alert Level 4, mandatory evacuation of 9,946 families / 47,285 individuals staying within the 5 km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the 5.8-km EDZ in the southern quadrant - particularly Buyuan, Mainit and Bonga areas was imposed
  • Evacuation update as of 11:017 AM, 30 December 2009, the number of evacuees decreased from 10,032 families / 47,553 persons to 9,729 families / 46,414 inside 29 evacuation centers in 32 baragays. (Tab A)
  • PDCC Albay projects the emergence of health-related problems based on prior experience and the current weather which is likely to contribute to the increasing risks for colds and other related diseases. Thus, the fear that zero-casualty goal may be compromised by health risks and the willingness of the population-at-risk to stay in the evacuation centers
  • PDCC Albay reported four (4) cases of conjunctivitis or sore eyes in Tabaco City