State of Calamity Declared in Albay due to Mayon Eruption

Philippines, Albay, volcano, Mayon Volcano, catastrophe

Cagsawa-Church and Mayon-Volcano during quieter days...

While the State of Calamity has been declared in the Province of Albay in the Philippines due to the eruption of Mayon Volcano, tourists are coming to see the spectacular show of Mother Nature.

On January 16, Albay provincial board declared the province under a state of calamity due to the threat of the eruption of Mayon. Board Member Joseph Philip Lee, head of the board’s committee on crisis and emergency management, said the declaration would allow local governments to use their calamity funds to provide assistance to affected areas. Some two million US dollars are available in case of casualties.

Lava spurting from Mayon volcano lit up on Monday and Tuesday the night sky on of Legazpi, the city near to the volcano. Experts indicated that it was a sign of increasing activity which prompted official to calls for evacuation of areas under threat.

While 30,000 of residents have been evacuated in a radius of 8km around the volcano, domestic tourists are flocking to this city, some 330km southeast of Metro Manila, to watch and enjoy the spectacular show.

“It’s a spectacle to watch. It’s beauty and fury in one, especially at night. But it’s a natural phenomenon so we don’t know when an (explosive) eruption will happen,” declared Danny Garcia, a spokesperson for Albay Province to the French news agency AFP.

Mayon, a near-perfect cone that also draws thousands of tourists during its periods of quiet, rises 2,460m above Legazpi, with a population of 200,000 inhabitants surrounded by a largely agricultural region.

Tourists have been taking selfies and pictures of the lava fountains on Mayon’s crater from buildings, shopping malls as well as the Oriental Hotel in Legazpi city centre. Others drove to to  Ligñon Hill and to the famous Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga town, where the iconic bell tower destroyed, buried by the volcano’s eruption in 1814, stands.

Tourism authorities warn however tourists to remain in safe areas, beyond the 8km-radius danger zone.

(Source: AFP/Asia News Network)