Since 14 January 2018, Mayon Volcano continues to show high levels of unrest resulting from repeated hazardous eruptions that have displaced tens of thousands of residents from the extended danger zone. The alert level remains at ‘4’ on the government‘s 5-point scale due to the impending danger of the volcanic activities, prohibiting authorities from allowing the return of the evacuees.
The Philippines, which lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is frequented by seismic and volcanic activities. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanolgy and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), around 100-150 earthquakes per year (with magnitude of 4.0 and above) have been felt from year 1600s to early 2000. This year, PHIVOLCS has recorded 122 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 and above from January to April, 59 of these were in April alone. Three significant earthquakes in April 2017 affected the provinces of Batangas in Luzon, Lanao del Sur and Sarangani in Mindanao.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration 3 Nock-Ten (Nina) (PAGASA), the Philippines is prone to tropical cyclones due to its geographical location which generally produce heavy rains, flooding of large areas and also strong winds which result in heavy casualties to human life and destruction to crops and properties. On average, the country is frequented by 20 tropical cyclones annually, almost half of which made landfall.
In January and February 2017, tail-end of a cold front brought cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over eastern regions of Mindanao island. These heavy rains caused landslides and flooding especially on low lying areas currently affecting 151,500 people in Caraga and Davao regions.
Continous rains in central Mindanao also affected 183,000 people in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.
A map visual/infographic highlighting the tracks of destructive tropical cyclones, historical strong earthquakes, location of active volcanoes, active faultlines and trenches.
Tropical Depression 29W has intensified into Tropical Storm Tokage (Marce) with 62-88 km/h wind speed range as it moves toward Calamian Group of Islands. It is expected to move in a westerly to west-northwesterly track at a speed of 22 km/hr towards the South China Sea with moderate to heavy rains within the 300 kilometer diameter of the storm.