LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The military is maintaining at least eight checkpoints around the six-kilometer periphery surrounding the crater of Mayon Volcano despite the return to their homes of some 9,000 families residing within the seven-to-eight-kilometer danger zone.
Col. Raul Farnacio, of the Army’s Task Force Mayon, said these checkpoints are within the six-kilometer danger zone in the villages of Anoling in Camalig town, Muladbucad Grande in Guinobatan, Comon and Magapo in Tabaco City, Calbayog in Malilipot and Baligang in Ligao City.
Farnacio said they will man these checkpoints as long as alert level 3 is up over Mayon. He said there are at least 2,862 families left in 11 evacuation centers in Tabaco City, Camalig,Guinobatan, Malilipot and Ligao City.
Farnacio said the Army battalion that helped build the checkpoints and temporary shelters at the evacuation camps have been sent back to Camp Elias Angeles in Pili, Camarines Sur.
“But we still put on standby at least 15 Army trucks at Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City in case immediate evacuation is needed,” Farnacio said.
He said they would prevent anyone from entering the permanent danger zone even as Mayon’s alert level is lifted.
He said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has declared the area as a “no man’s land.”
Meanwhile, Phivolcs monitored four volcanic earthquakes around the volcano in the past 24 hours, while no crater glow has been observed last night.