UK, Canada to nationals: Stay away from Mayon Volcano
In an advisory updated Wednesday, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office urged nationals to exercise caution, and check news reports before traveling to volcanic areas.
"The capacity of the Philippine emergency and rescue services to deal with large natural disasters is limited. You are advised to exercise caution, check news reports and follow local advice before travelling to volcanic areas. You are also advised to avoid volcanic areas during
and immediately after heavy rainfall when there is increased risk of lahar flows," it said in its advisory.
It urged them to log on to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) website for updates.
Canada issued a similar advice to its nationals, noting Philippine authorities had ordered the evacuation of thousands of people in the vicinity of Mayon.
"Travelers should be aware there are a number of active and potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines. Canadians should pay careful attention to all warnings issued, avoid restricted areas, and follow the advice of local authorities in the event of an eruption. Updated information on volcanoes in the Philippines is available from the Phivolcs web site," it said.
The UK and Canada were the second and third countries to caution their nationals against getting near Mayon. On Tuesday, the United States cautioned its nationals against going there.
Stay away from other volcanoes
The UK FCO said there are other volcanoes in the Philippines, any of which can erupt without warning.
"Sudden steam and ash explosions may occur at any time," it said.
It cited Bulusan volcano in Sorsogon Province and Kanlaon volcano in Negros, which it said had shown increased volcanic activity since July 2007.
But it said Mayon in Albay province continues to show signs of volcanic activity.
"There is currently a 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone around the volcano and a 7-km Extended Danger Zone on the south-east flank of the volcano that are off limits due to the threat from sudden explosions and rockfalls from the upper slopes. On 14 December the alert level was raised from 2 to 3 meaning that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible," it said.
It noted local authorities have ordered the evacuation of residents in the surrounding area including Tabaco City, and the towns of Malilipot, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan and Ligao.
Around 70,000 British tourists visit the Philippines every year, the FCO noted. - JHU, GMANews.TV