Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mt. Mayon's activity may impose curfew for safety reasons!

Police and military checkpoints may be set up in areas where the molten rocks ejected by Mt. Mayon are advancing within the 6-km permanent-danger zone to keep people out, an official said yesterday.

Cedric Daep, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, said he would recommend police or military checkpoints in the volcano’s southeast flank to warn onlookers of sudden explosions.

Seventy-seven farmers in Bonga town died from Mayon’s lava flows and gas emissions in 1993.
“If this plan materializes, we will impose a 24-hour curfew in areas where residents or visitors will not be allowed without permission, Daep said.

“We set up checkpoints during the previous eruptions, and that allowed us to maintain our zero-casualty objective.”

Daep said he thought of the plan after authorities saw local and foreign visitors, including residents, viewing lava moving toward the danger zone in Mabinit town.

He said the lava front in the Mabinit Channels had advanced some 200 meters or 5.8 aerial km down from the crater.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the volcano’s ejection of sulfuric gas had gone down to 7,418 tons a day, but that was still way above normal levels.

The volcano was jolted by 354 tremors generated by flying rocks and incandescent lava fragments tumbling downs its slopes, but the accompanying earthquakes had been feeble.

Alert Level 3 was till up, meaning explosive eruptions may happen in days or weeks, officials said.

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