MANILA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Philippine volcanologists on Friday called for vigilance as an approaching tropical depression could develop into a super typhoon and dump heavy rain in areas near an erupting volcano southeast of Manila.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that the tropical depression will bring heavy rainfall from Sunday, triggering floods and landslides.
Due to this development, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology "strongly recommended" on Friday that residents at the foot of the cone-shaped Mayon volcano in Albay province, approximately 500 km southeast of Manila, "be vigilant and ready."
The institute said the prolonged heavy rainfall could trigger lahar flows of ash and volcanic debris spewed by the volcano, which started erupting on June 8.
"The Mayon lahars can threaten communities along the middle and lower slopes and downstream of (river) channels with inundation, burial, and wash away," the institute warned, urging the provincial authorities "to move residents to high grounds should heavy rains occur."
The ongoing eruption displaced thousands of villagers. The evacuees are now housed in government-run temporary shelters around the province. ■