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Philippines: Possible three-month emergency due to Mayon volcano /update 8

Officials warn ongoing Mayon volcano eruption may prompt three-month emergency in surrounding areas; Level 4 volcano alert in place as of January 26

26 Jan 11:41 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 1/26/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/28/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Manila). COUNTRY/REGION Mayon volcano (Albay province)

Event

Mayon volcano (Albay province) continues to erupt as of Friday, January 26. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the volcano remained at Alert Level 4 as of 08:00 (local time) on Friday; PHIVOLCS officials have continued to warn individuals in the area to avoid an 8-km (5-mi) radius from the summit crater due to hazardous lava flows, rockfall events, and other related dangers.

On Friday, Philippine authorities announced that emergency measures enacted due to Mayon's ongoing eruptive phase (e.g. evacuations, flight disruptions, etc.) may last for up to three months. Pressures on sanitary infrastructure have increased in many evacuation centers in recent weeks, raising public health concerns. An associated spread of illnesses, including an uptick in respiratory illnesses due to ash falls, are possible in the coming weeks.

PHIVOLCS officials continue to warn that an explosive eruption is possible at Mayon volcano within days. Significant transportation disruptions are expected in the event of a major eruption. Civil aviation authorities have been advised to avoid flying near the volcano crater due to the risk of sudden eruption.

Context

Nearly 81,000 people have already fled the area surrounding the Mayon volcano, while authorities have erected checkpoints on roads leading to the volcano to prevent tourists from approaching the hazard zone.

The volcano last erupted in 2014, which prompted thousands of people to evacuate adjacent areas.

Advice

Individuals present in or intending to travel to the affected area are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel reservations, follow any instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and wear respiratory masks and covering clothing to protect skin from abrasive ash.

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