Alert Level 3 is now raised over Mayon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days, that’s according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). In connection to this, it’s crucial to be prepared and informed to ensure your safety and well-being. While volcanic eruptions can be awe-inspiring natural phenomena, they also pose significant risks to nearby communities. Below are essential steps and precautions to take during an active volcano activity, empowering you to make informed decisions and protect yourself and your loved ones.

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1. Stay Informed

Monitoring volcanic activity is essential for staying safe. Stay tuned to local news, official bulletins, and updates from reputable sources such as volcanology agencies and authorities. They will provide you with crucial information about the volcano’s behavior, eruption forecasts, evacuation orders, and other relevant details. Understanding the volcano’s current state will help you make informed decisions about your safety.

2. Follow Evacuation Orders

If authorities issue an evacuation order, it’s crucial to comply promptly. Volcanic eruptions can unleash a range of hazards, including ash clouds, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and toxic gases. Follow the designated evacuation routes and instructions provided by local authorities, and encourage others to do the same. Remember, your life and the lives of others are paramount during such dangerous events.

3. Protect Yourself from Ashfall

During an active volcano activity, there are volcanic ashes that can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. When ashfall occurs, take the following precautions:

a. Stay indoors as much as possible and close all windows and doors to minimize ash infiltration.

b. Use damp towels or masks to cover your mouth and nose when venturing outside.

c. Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary, as ash can reduce visibility and damage vehicle engines.

d. Clean ash from roofs and gutters to prevent structural damage and water blockages.

4. Be Aware of Pyroclastic Flows

Pyroclastic flows are fast-moving during an active volcano activity, it is a high-temperature mixtures of ash, gas, and volcanic material. If you live in an area prone to pyroclastic flows, be aware of the signs and follow these guidelines:

a. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and safe zones designated by authorities.

b. If a pyroclastic flow is imminent, move perpendicular to its path, rather than attempting to outrun it.

c. Seek higher ground if possible, as pyroclastic flows tend to follow natural topography.

5. Prepare an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit during an active volcano activity ready can make a significant difference during a volcanic eruption. Here are some essential items to include:

a. Non-perishable food and water supply for at least three days.

b. Battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries.

c. A first aid kit, including any necessary medications.

d. Protective gear like masks, goggles, and gloves.

e. Battery-powered radio to stay updated on the latest information.

Surviving an active volcano activity requires preparation, vigilance, and swift action. By staying informed, following evacuation orders, protecting yourself from ashfall, being aware of pyroclastic flows, and having an emergency kit, you can increase your chances of staying safe. Remember, the priority is always your well-being and that of your loved ones. Stay alert, heed the advice of authorities, and take necessary precautions to navigate through the challenges posed by an active volcano.