Philippines - Mayon Volcano activity alert

23 Jan 2018

Legazpi Airport (LGP) remains closed as of Jan. 23 due to ash from the Mayon Volcano, which is less than 15 km (9 miles) northwest of Legazpi City, Albay Province. Authorities closed the airport at about 1400 Jan. 22 until further notice. Cebu Pacific (5J) and Philippines Airlines (PR) have canceled its domestic flights to and from LGP, as well as several flights to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Metro Manila Jan. 23. Jetstar (3K) has also canceled its international flights between MNL and Singapore (SIN). Extended closures of LGP are possible, depending on new volcanic eruptions and wind direction. 

Officials have extended the danger zone to a 9-km (5.6-mile) radius around the volcano morning of Jan. 23; further evacuations are ongoing. As of late Jan. 22, more than 38,000 people have been evacuated in the towns of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo, as well as the cities of Legazpi, Tabaco, and Ligao. Ground transport disruptions are likely, especially leading to the exclusion zone and areas with poor visibility due to ashfall. Authorities could also block routes within the danger zone. Volcanic ash has been mainly blowing southwest. Further eruptions and a shift in wind pattern may lead to more widespread disruptions in the metropolitan area. 

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level for Mayon Volcano to Level 4 at 1300 Jan. 22, following eruptions that produced ash columns as high as 10 km (6.2 miles). Level 4, the second highest on a five-point scale, indicates imminent, explosive eruptions. Authorities have suspended classes at both public and private schools in the province and advised the public to put on a mask and stay indoors. 

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