Restive Mayon Volcano destroys high-value crops in Albay

FARMERS planting vegetables and fiber crops in Albay incurred losses amounting to P1.56 million due to the eruption of Mayon Volcano, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a report it released on Thursday.

As of January 25 the DA said the volume of high-value crops destroyed in Albay has reached 42 metric tons (MT). The restive Mayon Volcano also affected 112 hectares of agricultural areas.

“Damages and losses [for vegetables] amount to P1.08 million, affecting a total area of 13 hectares. Volume of losses amount to 35 MT,” the DA report read.

The affected crops, the DA said, include ampalaya, baguio beans, eggplant, okra, pole sitao, sayote, sili, tomato and upo. The crops were all on their fruiting stage.

“Damages and losses for fiber crops, particularly in abaca, amount to P480,000, affecting a total area of 99 hectares, with volume losses amounting to 6 MT,” the report read.

The DA said it has designated new livestock-evacuation and-pooling areas where affected residents could bring their farm animals.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in its January 25 bulletin that Mayon Volcano ejected lava again.

“The lava fountains reached 400 meters to 500 meters high and generated ash plumes that reached 3 kilometers to 5 kilometers above the crater,” the Phivolcs bulletin read.

The agency said Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano. “The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the 8-kilometer-radius danger zone, and to be additionally vigilant against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice.”

The Phivolcs also urged civil-aviation authorities to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit, as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

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