Philippines: Mayon Volcano Eruption Forces Thousands of Filipinos To Flee

Now on Level 5 Alert!

The eruption of Mount Mayon, the Philippines’ most active volcano has caused massive evacuation of more than 40,000 villagers in Albay, a province in the southeastern Luzon, Philippines.

As Mount Mayon continued to spew fountains of red-hot lava and massive ash plumes, tens of thousands of people were forced to find refuge in 46 evacuation camps.

Mayon’s alert level to four on a scale was raised to level five and expanded the danger zone to 8 kilometers (5 miles).

The explosive eruption caused lava fountains gushing up 700 meters (2,300 feet) above Mount Mayon’s crater and ash plumes rose up to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) at night and before daybreak on Monday.

With its near-perfect cone, Mayon has long been prominent with climbers and tourists but has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years.

Ash Plumes Cause Zero Visibility

Aside from the gigantic fountains of lava that gushed out from the volcano’s crater, the volcanic ash fell Monday, causing burdens among the evacuating people and the nearby residents. In fact, visibility is heavily obscured in a few towns because of the volcanic ash.

Jukes Nunez, Albay provincial disaster response officer, reported the severity of the volcanic ash that has darkened the skies over nearby villages.

Nunez said, “It was like night time at noon, there was zero visibility in some areas because the ash fall was so thick.”

To respond to the needs of affected residents, the government distributed more than 30,000 ash masks and about 5,000 sacks of rice, along with medicine, water and other supplies to the evacuation centers. Also, army troops and police are helping others leave the danger zone.

Mount Mayon volcano.
Mount Mayon spews fountains of red-hot lava and massive ash plumes.

Dazzling Yet Dangerous Eruption

The huge eruption could be dazzling to look at, but the authorities warned that it is a dangerous eruption. That is why local government issued warnings to encourage people to leave the danger zones. In this way, casualties will be avoided.

In addition, authorities warned a violent eruption may occur in hours or days. If this happens, the pyroclastic flows will be inevitable. This super heated gas can be deadly and annihilate everything in their path.

Since the volcano erupted this week, there have been no reports of deaths and injuries.

The Magnificent Volcano

Prominently called as a perfect cone shaped volcano, the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) volcano has generated tourism revenues and jobs in the province of Albay.

Its magnificent features can be breathtaking, but it can be destructive when it erupts. One of its deadly eruptions was recorded in 1814 when it killed more than 1,200 people.

Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines, erupting more than 50 times in the past 500 years.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.