Manila, Jun 9 (EFE).- Around 10,000 people living less than six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the Mayon volcano in northeastern Philippines’ Albay province have been evacuated amid a rising risk of an eruption, local authorities told EFE on Friday.
Approximately half of the 20,000 people whose homes are located within a 6-kilometer radius around the volcano – the distance that the Philippine authorities have marked as unsafe – have decided to leave their homes, an official from Daraga, located near Mayon, told EFE.
Some residents are wary of leaving their homes, fearing that their personal belongings and livestock may be stolen, the official added.
In its daily update, the Philippine seismology agency (Phivolcs) warned of continued rockfall and an increase in seismic activity, as well as the emission of sulfur dioxide.
On Thursday, the agency raised the alert level from two to three (out of a maximum of five). It has recommended that people evacuate due to the high risk of volcanic eruption.
During Thursday night, small lava flows descended from the volcano, whose almost perfectly conical shape is one of the main attractions of Albay, whose capital Legazpi – with about 200,000 residents – is only 11.2 kilometers from Mayon.
To the west of the same Luzon island, the other of the two most active volcanoes in the Philippines, Taal, continued spewing toxic gases, causing an increase in the number of people with respiratory problems in the nearby villages.
Authorities remain alert amid the increase in seismic activity – which has continued in the last 24 hours according to Phivolcs – due to the volcano’s proximity to Manila (about 80 kilometers).
On Monday, the Philippine airport authorities banned planes from flying 10,000 feet from the surface of the volcanoes.
The last eruptions of Taal and Mayon, in 2020 and 2018 respectively, led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and kept the residents of Manila and Legazpi on alert for several days. EFE