Alternate routes in Albay identified for worst-case scenario.
By Betheena Unite
Alternate routes were identified in case of a worst-case scenario in the province of Albay as the Mayon Volcano continues to spew lava fountain, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
If the lahar or ash fall is at the southeast of the volcano affecting the Legazpi-Sto. Domingo-Tabaco Road, Tabaco-Ligao National Secondary Road will be the alternate route.
Vehicles from Manila to Legazpi City and Sorsogon can take the Camalig-Comun-Gapo-PeAaAaAeA~afranc National Secondary Road if Camalig section of Daang Maharlika Highway which is south of Mayon is affected.
Furthermore, travelers from Manila to Legazpi and Sorsogon, Ligao-Tabaco Road will be the alternative road for the Guinobatan section of Daang Maharlika Highway if volcanic ash reaches Guinobatan area, DPWH said.
Alternate routes were identified to prevent isolation of municipalities highly vulnerable to ash plume and volcanic mudflows known as lahar, the DPWH said in its advisory.
According to DPWH Region 5 Director Danilo E. Versola, the district engineers of the three DPWH District Engineering Offices in the province of Albay were directed to closely monitor national road network and river channels in their jurisdiction that may be affected by the rapid lava flowing down the slopes of Mayon Volcano.
Regional and District Risk Reduction and Management teams of the agency in the region are on alert status as indications of unrest and eruptive activity of the volcano intensifies, Versola added.
Heavy equipment and service vehicle were already strategically prepositioned to provide timely support for road-clearing operations, movement of people to evacuation and other safe places, and relief distribution.
Earlier, authorities warned that the debris deposited on the slopes of the volcano could lead to lahar flows due to the continuous rains in the past days affecting Bicol Region. The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and prolonged heavy rains, they added.
Glowing red lava flows drifting the southwest sector of Mayon Volcano on Monday night. (Photo by Ali Vicoy)