Eruptions, quakes show Pacific Ring of Fire is active

VOLCANIC eruptions and earthquakes in Asia and Alaska indicate that the Pacific Ring of Fire is active, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) noted.

In a post on Twitter, UNISDR took note of the eruption of Mayon Volcano in the Philippines and Mount Kusatsu-Shirane in Japan, the magnitude 6 earthquake that struck Java Island in Indonesia Tuesday night, and the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that prompted a tsunami warning in Alaska.

In the Philippines, more than 70,000 individuals have fled the 8-kilometer extended danger zone of Mayon Volcano in Legazpi City, Albay as it continued to spew lava fountains that have generated pyroclastic flows headed to gullies and rivers within 4 kilometers from the summit.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, January 24, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said a total of 18,372 families or 71,373 persons were affected in 54 barangays in the municipalities/cities of Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Daraga, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo (Libog), and Legazpi City in Albay.

Of the total, 14,483 families or 55,068 persons are staying in 59 designated evacuation centers while 1,395 families or 6,165 persons are served outside the centers.

In Indonesia, a villager in Lebak district near the quake’s epicenter died of electrocution when his house collapsed.

At least 20 people were injured, including eight students at a school where a roof collapsed, while more than 330 buildings were damaged in Lebak alone. A mosque and a public health center were reportedly flattened.

In Japan, 12 people, including eight soldiers, skiing on the slopes of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane were injured Tuesday by flying rocks during a sudden eruption, officials said. One soldier later died.

The eruption quickly darkened the ski slope with black ash, as volcanic rocks rained down on gondolas and people skiing down the slopes, sending them desperately seeking shelter at a mountaintop station.

In Alaska, the powerful earthquake that struck beneath the Gulf of Alaska early Tuesday generated a tsunami that gauges show as very small at 0.7 of a foot at Old Harbor, Alaska. The alerts were called off later.

The Pacific Ring of Fire is a u-shaped area along the edges of the Pacific Ocean that hosts a string of volcanoes and a large seismic fault system. (MVI/SunStar Philippines/AP)
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