February 24, 2018, 10:32 pm
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Mayon lava flow now 3 km from summit

RED hot lava continued to cascade down the slopes of the restive Mayon Volcano in Albay province in the past 24-hour monitoring period, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Phivolcs volcanologist Winchell Sevilla said the lava flow has reached about three kilometers downslope from the summit, along the Miisi gully, which was still within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone.

He also said the volcano’s crater, glowing bright red, was seen Wednesday night when no cloud was obscuring the view.

In the monitoring period of 5 a.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. yesterday, 48 rockfall events were recorded at Mayon, generated by “the collapsing lava front and margins of the advancing lava flow on the Miisi gully and by the shedding from the summit dome onto the Matanag and Buyuan gullies,” Phivolcs said.

Also recorded were two pyroclastic density currents and one volcanic tremor.

Phivolcs said these events as well as the “persistent” lava disintegration at the Miisi lava flow generated ash clouds that drifted southwest of the volcano.

Twelve more rockfall events were recorded from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. yesterday, Sevilla said. Phivolcs also measured sulfur dioxide emission at an average of 1,159 tons per day as of Wednesday. 

Mayon remains under alert level 3 which means a hazardous eruption is possible “within weeks or even days.” It started showing increased restiveness on Saturday.

Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara raised concerns about delays in the release of calamity funds of local government units.

Albay was declared under a state of calamity Tuesday. About 30,000 residents have been evacuated.

Bichara, during a joint briefing in Albay with presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. and members of the provincial disaster and risk reduction management council, said there have been instances when the LGUs exhausted their savings while waiting for fund releases from the Department of Budget and Management.

Roque assured Bichara and the other local government officials in Albay that he would relay their concerns to the President and the appropriate agencies. He said President Duterte, being a former mayor, knows the plight of local officials.

He also said the national government has funds to support an emergency response in calamity-stricken areas if the need arises.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade warned the public against individuals using his name to solicit money supposedly for Mayon-affected residents.

He said an unidentified man who pretended to be him called up the Area 8 office of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in Tacloban City yesterday morning and asked about airport projects in the region and the names of project contractors.

The caller said he would solicit P1 million from the contractors.

Tugade also said he has not authorized any person or group to solicit money. – Angela Lopez de Leon, Jocelyn Montemayor and Evan Orias
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