UK warns of Mayon’s ‘eruption risk’, cites PHL’s limited capacity to deal with disasters

Mayon Volcano on September 23, 1984: Pyroclastic flows descend the south-eastern flank of Mayon Volcano, Philippines. Then, the maximum height of the eruption column was 15 km above sea level, and volcanic ash fell within about 50 km toward the west. There were no casualties from the 1984 eruption because more than 73,000 people evacuated the danger zones as recommended by scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. (Mayon VolcanoPublic Domain C.G. Newhall, Wikipedia)

Mayon Volcano on September 23, 1984: Pyroclastic flows descend the south-eastern flank of Mayon Volcano, Philippines. Then, the maximum height of the eruption column was 15 km above sea level, and volcanic ash fell within about 50 km toward the west. There were no casualties from the 1984 eruption because more than 73,000 people evacuated the danger zones as recommended by scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. (Mayon VolcanoPublic Domain C.G. Newhall, Wikipedia)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The United Kingdom on Tuesday cautioned its nationals on the threat of a possible eruption from Mayon Volcano, after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level in the area to “3.”

In an update to its travel advice on the Philippines, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said “the capacity of Philippine emergency and rescue services to deal with large natural disasters [was] limited.”

“Check news reports and follow local advice before traveling to volcanic areas. Avoid volcanic areas during and immediately after heavy rainfall when there is increased risk of lava flows,” it said.

On Monday night, Phivolcs raised the alert level at Mayon to “3,” prompting Albay Governor Jose Salceda to order a 24-hour evacuation of residents from the danger zone.

At least eight areas in Albay have also been declared under a state of calamity.

The UK government said Alert Level 3 meant a “hazardous eruption [was] possible within weeks.”

On the other hand, the UK noted there are several volcanoes in the Philippines, “any of which [could] erupt without warning.”

Around 122,759 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free, the UK said. (MNS)

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