DOT bars tourists from visiting areas near Mayon

The Department of Tourism in Bicol (DOT-5) on Friday issued a Mayon advisory to tourists, foreign and domestic, visiting the province of Albay.

"Mayon Volcano's alert level status has been raised from alert level 2 to alert level 3 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) due to increasing activity. The public and tourism stakeholders are reminded to avoid entering the six-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ) due to the threat of sudden steam-driven and phreatic eruptions," the advisory read.

Tourists are still free to visit the different attractions in Albay despite the raised alert level but must avoid certain areas near the volcano, DOT Regional Director Herbie Aguas said in an interview.

"Foreign and domestic visitors are still welcome in Albay. They can watch the Mayon Volcano from an area that is safe and away from the 6-km PDZ. We must abide by the mandatory precautions imposed by the authorities, particularly keeping off the radius of Mayon," Aguas said.

He added that tourism activities at Mayon Skyline are now prohibited.

"We want to ensure the safety of our tourists, they are many other tourist spots in the province that they can visit. All operators of accommodations and other tourism-related establishments, including resorts and tourism sites/destinations, are directed to take preventive measures for the safety of the guests," Aguas said.

He also reminded local government units (LGUs) surrounding Mayon Volcano to monitor visitors and even locals who may enter the prescribed permanent danger zone.

Source: Philippines News agency