Legazpi residents allowed to go home amid Mayon Volcano unrest

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Legazpi, Albay (CNN Philippines, January 18) — Almost 8,000 residents from Legazpi City were allowed to go home on Thursday even as Mayon Volcano continues to spew lava.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) officials gave the go signal to the residents of Legazpi, which is outside the seven-kilometer extended danger zone around the erupting Mayon.


Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said they asked panicking residents to evacuate on Monday. 

"Nagkaroon lang ng panic last Monday, January 15. Kaya I had to make a preemptive (evacuation), it's not really a forced evacuation," he said.

The evacuees are residents of barangays Bunga, Mabinit, Buyuan, Matanag, and Padang.

While evacuees from Legazpi are preparing to go back to their houses, authorities reminded families from the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan, and Daraga near Mayon to stay in evacuation centers.


With this order from authorities, Camalig Mayor Ding Baldo appealed for help. She said the town's supply of relief goods will last only until next week.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured local officials help is coming. He said the Social Welfare and Health Departments have allocated P22-million worth of relief assistance for evacuees.

"I'm sure there would be further assistance forthcoming… Huwag po kayong mag-alala. Meron po talaga tayong nakalaan sa pantaunang budget para sa mga man-made or natural calamities," he said in a media briefing in Albay.

The Social Welfare department assured evacuees the agency has adequate food supplies to be distributed. The Health department, meanwhile, said it has enough supply of medicines for affected communities.

Mayon remains on Alert Level 3 as it threatens a hazardous eruption. Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said their aerial inspection show volcanic activity is limited only to minor lava eruptions. He also said they do not see signs of an explosive magma eruption.

Mayon's most destructive eruption was in February 1814 that buried areas near it, including a church called Cagsawa ruins with only the bell tower standing. Thousands were killed in the disaster.