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August 7, 2006 Monday

Mount Mayon Eruption Imminent at Level 4

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert level to 4 amid forecast of an “imminent” eruption which resulted to an obligatory evacuation of residents living within the eight-kilometer (five-mile) radius around Mayon Volcano.

At least 74,069 people or 13,870 families from 40 villages in three cities and five municipalities had evacuated already according to the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office. Affected areas should be evacuated by noon Monday, said by the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC).

Trucks must then be positioned for immediate or emergency evacuation, said by Fernando Gonzales, Albay governor. He said that everything is already prepared including support goods and the evacuation center as well.

Monday morning, mount Mayon already gave 500 meter ash columns into the air, According to PHIVOLCS, Materials thrown from the crater of the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) mountain could threaten anyone within eight kilometers. Classes had been suspended in public schools that would house the evacuees, according to Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal.

An explosive eruption of Mayon volcano, could threaten of about 60, 000 lives of people, volcanologists said before.
The institute had informed local officials in the central province of Albay to evacuate 28 areas around the mountain, including parts of Legazpi City and the towns of Camalig, Daraga, Ligao, Malilipot, Santo Domingo, and Tabaco. The advisory said, "Areas just outside of these areas should also prepare for evacuation in the event explosive eruptions increase."

Ernesto Corpus, chief of the government's Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Unit said that an explosive eruption could happen "possibly within the day." He said, "We entered the explosive phase... Under alert level 4, we will evacuate those within eight kilometers in radius from the volcano,"

He added, "There is a high possibility that there will be explosions today which is Monday."
The volcano blasted "ash injections" some 300 to 500 meters high at around 7:30 a.m.
Lava already flowed since last week.
A major eruption followed lava flows and ash injections. Corpus said that the volcano followed a pattern.
Mayon already erupted 47 times in recorded history, the latest being was an outpouring of lava in June 2001.
During 19th century, the volcano buried the town of Cagsawa which killed aabout 1, 000 filipinos.