Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mayon's eruption closer to the end!

MAYON Volcano’s eight-week eruption is nearing its end, giving fresh hope to tens of thousands of people displaced by its lava flows, officials said yesterday.

More than 40,000 people were ordered off the lower slopes of the country’s most active and deadly volcano when scientists warned of an imminent eruption following weeks of quiet lava flows that incinerated farmlands.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in a statement it “is continuously assessing activity and if downward trends are evident in the coming days, then the appropriate recommendation for lowering the alert status shall be made.”

But the institute did not say when the evacuees could return to their homes, which are within an 8-km danger zone of Mayon’s crater.

The civil defense office in Manila said around 30,000 people still remained in temporary evacuation centers, including schoolrooms, more than a month after they were evacuated.
Towering 8,070 ft above Legazpi City, the volcano’s symmetrical dome has been compared to Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji.

Mayon last erupted in 1993, when lava flows killed 68 people and prompted the evacuation of 60,000 people.

The volcano has had 47 eruptions in recorded history, with its most deadly recorded in the 19th century when lava buried the town of Cagsawa, killing an estimated 1,000 people.

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