Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Albay, Phivolcs to lead 200th year commemoration of 1814 Mayon eruption
By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo

LEGAZPI CITY, June 23 (PNA) -- The provincial government of Albay and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will lead in the commemoration of the 200th year of the most destructive eruption of the Mayon Volcano in 1814, which will be held at the Florence Hall of the La Piazza Hotel and Convention Center here on June 26-27.

The occasion aims to increase the level of awareness of the public on the tragedy that befell the province as a result of the Mayon explosion in 1814.

The observance carries with it the lesson learned from the catastrophe and measures to prevent dangers during volcanic eruptions based on the Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) program of the province, Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda said.

Salceda and Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum will lead the occasion to be participated in by about 150 officials of the local government units around Mayon, representatives of national government agencies, members of the media and the private sector.

The event will have two parts.

On the first day, foreign experts from the United States, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and Indonesia will speak on various related topics.

Experts from the Phivolcs, Office of Civil Defense-Bicol and the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) will also share their expertise.

Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Phivolcs director, will discuss “Why We Are Commemorating the 1814 Eruption of Mayon Volcano," while historian Dr. Danilo Madrid Gerona will touch on the topic "Fire From Heaven. The History of the Eruptions of Mayon Volcano 1814."

Ma. Antonia V. Bornas of the Phivolcs will give her share on the 30 years after the grim explosion.

Another speaker will be Dr. Ma. Hannah T. Mirabueno, environmental officer of the Christchurch City Council of New Zealand.

Dr. Christopher G. Newhall, USGS emeritus, will speak on the “Scenario of Possible Precursors to The Next “1814” Eruption of Mayon” while Dr. Tetsou Kobayashi, professor, Kagoshima University, Japan, will deal on “New Innovative Approach to Past 20,000 Years.”

The “Lessons from Experiences: People’s Narratives of Past Eruptions” will be discussed by Ma. Mylene M. Villegas of the Phivolcs.

The “May 2013 Experience of Hikers” will be narrated by Joseph Wyne Manjares, Chapter Representative on Safety.

In the afternoon of the first day, Salceda will lay down the Planning Development in the Shadow of Mayon: Albay Province Development Plan.

The different LGUs of Albay will show their respective DRRM programs and practices, such as the towns of Camalig, Daraga and Malilipotm and the cities of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco.

Dr. Cedric Daep, APSEMO chief, will handle the subject “Preparedness, Emergency Planning and Good DRR Practices of Albay” while OCD-5 Director Bernardo Rafaelito R. Alejandro will give the closing remarks.

On the second day, the participants will visit the places gravely affected by the 1814 eruption like the Mabinit Channel in Legazpi City, Cagsawa and Budiao in Daraga town and Barangay Maipon in Guinobatan.

The group will also go to the Mayon Resthouse Observatory, where old and modern equipment for monitoring the activities of Mayon are found, and the Sto. Domingo Elementary School, a foreign-assisted school and an evacuation center.

It will also proceed to the Mayon Volcano Observatory at Ligñon Hill where the Phivolcs Operations Center is located.(PNA) LAM/FGS/NIM/CBD