‘Quarrying in Mayon danger zone suspended’

By Celso Amo

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“We have suspended quarrying in high-risk areas,” Tess Atos, ENRO officer-in-charge, said yesterday, referring to the eight-kilometer-radius zone around the volcano. Kriz John Rosales

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Quarrying within Mayon Volcano’s danger zone has been stopped, according to the environment and natural resources office (ENRO) of Albay.

“We have suspended quarrying in high-risk areas,” Tess Atos, ENRO officer-in-charge, said yesterday, referring to the eight-kilometer-radius zone around the volcano.

Atos said at least 83 operators have suspended quarrying since the volcano erupted last month. These are in Barangays Tumpa, Sua and Baligang in Camalig; Quirangay, Moladbocad Grande, Moladbocad Pequeño and Masarawag in Guinobatan; Fidel Surtida and San Isidro in Sto. Domingo,  Buang and Buyoan in this city and Budiao and Miisi in Daraga.

 “Some quarrying operators came to our office to ask for a certificate to show to their contractors to justify delayed delivery of aggregates,” Atos said.

She said operators gave assurance that personnel left in quarry areas are only transferring leftover aggregates or checking their machines.

Atos said the license of quarry operators not complying with their order would be revoked.

Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said the ENRO in the city is strictly implementing the no-quarrying order in Barangays Buyuan and Buang despite the appeal of some contractors that their projects would be delayed. 

Still restive

Mayon’s activity in the past 24 hours was characterized by near-continuous lava fountaining, lava flow and degassing from the crater, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. 

At least 36 volcanic earthquakes, most of which corresponded to lava fountaining, were recorded by Mayon’s seismic monitoring network.

The volcano remains under Alert Level 4, Phivolcs said.

Mayon’s resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said lava flow is not dangerous as long as no one would enter the eight-kilometer danger zone.

“Ash explosions affect residents...as far as the wind direction and speed can carry them. But lava is confined to the slopes,” Laguerta said. – With Rhodina Villanueva, Cet Dematera

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