OCD lowers alert status after decline in Mayon unrest

OCD lowers alert status after decline in Mayon unrest

The Office of the Civil Defense lowered the alert status of its Emergency Operations Center in the Bicol region on Friday following the decrease in Mayon's volcanic activities.

OCD spokesperson Edgar Posadas said the alert level has been downgraded to Blue status — which means half of the agency's manpower shall be on standby for heightened monitoring. 

The OCD was previously on "Red" status — the highest alert level status in monitoring the unrest of Mayon Volcano.

"This came after Phivolcs announced it dropped Mayon's alert level to 2, meaning the volcano was at a moderate level of unrest, due to the decreasing sulfur dioxide emission and stabilizing and diminishing of incandescent lava deposits in recent days, among other developments," Posadas explained. 

"This does not mean, however, that Mayon's activities have decreased since the edifice remained inflated and sulfur dioxide emissions were still high, according to state seismologists," he added.

Posadas stressed that OCD also advised all Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office to continue monitoring Mayon Volcano's status and other hazards that could impact the communities nearby.

The OCD is also set to decamp the 52 families or 195 individuals staying for a prolonged period at an evacuation center in Camalig, Albay province due to Mayon's restiveness in the past months.

The Camalig evacuation center is funded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"The agency is coordinating with local officials in Camalig regarding this. The EOC of Bicol's Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council would still monitor 24/7 any developments on the Mayon Volcano and its impact on the residents, including the hazards that might persist due to its activities," Posadas said.

He noted that the EOC in Bicol would still monitor any developments on Mayon and its potential impact on residents despite the lowering of the alert status.

Mayon volcano's alert status was raised to Level 2 on 5 June when Phivolcs observed an increase in rockfall activities from the summit lava dome.  

It was further raised to Level 3 on 8 June after Mayon exhibited parameters of "hazardous eruption" activities for months, including effusive magmatic eruption.

The scenario forced the evacuation of thousands of Albay residents living within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone.

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