Remaining Mayon evacuees sent home

Pupils of the Bigaa Elementary School in Legazpi, Albay are seen in front of a classroom during a rainshower. Classes, which were disrupted by the activities of Mayon and the temporary conversion of classrooms into evacuation centers, resumed yesterday.

Pupils of the Bigaa Elementary School in Legazpi, Albay are seen in front of a classroom during a rainshower. Classes, which were disrupted by the activities of Mayon and the temporary conversion of classrooms into evacuation centers, resumed yesterday.

LEGAZPI CITY , Philippines – Disaster management officials here allowed yesterday the 510 families who evacuated from the slopes of the restive Mayon volcano to return home, after drills showed that residents near the six-kilometer permanent danger zone could be evacuated again in just 15 minutes.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda confirmed that he approved the return of the evacuees to their homes after officials identified and tested the shorter and safer escape routes to quickly evacuate within 15 minutes residents in Bañadero in Daraga town, and in the upper portion of Barangay Padang in Legazpi City.

“With this, we will start bringing them back to their dwelling villages today,” Salceda told The STAR yesterday, adding that more cash and food would be delivered to the houses of the evacuees.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) had lowered the alert level around Mayon volcano from level 4 to 3 last Saturday after volcanic activity decreased.

Alert level 3 means the volcano is still in a state of relatively high unrest and an eruption is still possible within weeks.

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