The Mayon volcano erupts in the Albay province in the Philippines on January 23, 2018. Philippine officials started evacuations Thursday. File Photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA-EFE
June 9 (UPI) -- Filipino crews started evacuating people around the Mayon volcano Friday as it moved closer to a possible eruption.
The Albay Provincial Information Office said it was evacuating nearly 1,500 families in the town of Camalig and other locations in advance.
"Immediate mandatory evacuation is ongoing today for barangays Sua, Tumpa, Quirangay, and Anoling with an estimated 1,400 families," Albay's public information office said.
"Camalig has been gathering the total number of population at risk, preparing to set up modular tents and starting to preposition essential goods before starting the main evacuation efforts."
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs, said it documented 199 rockfall events and six pyroclastic density currents on the volcano from 5 a.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.
Phivolcs added that about 7 p.m. Friday, seismologists found another 28 "relatively smaller rockfall events," but no volcanic earthquakes.
Officials said more than 18,000 people are being considered for evacuation into 115 evacuation centers.
Camalig public information officer Tim Florece called for residents to be proactive, as local police were being mobilized to maintain an orderly evacuation.
Volcano officials raised the alert level for the Mayon volcano to Level 3 after the summit dome collapsed this week.
The volcano has not had a steam-driven or phreatic eruption since January 2018. The Philippines is part of the so-called "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific Ocean in which most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.