On 14 December, the alert level for Mt Mayon, an active stratovolcano 15 kilometres Northwest of Legazpi City in Region V, was raisewd to level three and then to level four on 20 December, indicating that a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Evacuations from within the eight kilometre Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) have commenced and 47,563 people have been evacuated to date.
To date, ash explosions reaching up to two kilometres in the air have been recorded along with volcanic earthquakes and falling rock fragments, some of which have generated pyroclastic flows that have traveled approx tow kilometres from the crater. Flowing red hot lava and rolling incandescent lave fragments have also been recorded reaching five kilometres down-slope from the summit in places.
Based on Mayon's activity in previous years, this level of activity may indicate one of two future outcomes; the continued formation of lava flow, either with or without lave fountaining; or a shift to hazardous and explosive eruptions. Further complications could also arise from poor weather conditions such as strong rains or a typhoon which may trigger a lahar, a volcanic mudslide, as was the case in 2006.
Logistics Cluster Update
In a meeting with the National Disaster Coordinating Council, Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and international actors, the Governor of Albay Province expressed his desire to manage as much of the relief efforts as possible without calling for international assistance. However, the Governor also indicated his support for the idea of activating individual cluster-cells for specific and well-targeted assistance.
The Logistics Cluster has transported and erected a 320 square metre mobile storage hub for the storage of relief items form responding government bodies and agencies. Based at the Julhasan Arasain Naval Base in Legazpi City, the location has been chosen on the basis of proximity to both affected areas and logistics infrastructure including a helipad.
In order to facilitate the flow of relief items to evacuees, the Logistics Cluster is providing long haul surface transport between Manila and Legazpi City with over 53 mt of food and non-food items transported to date.