ACT Appeal Philippines: Mayon Volcano - ASPH11

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 55,264
Geneva, July 2, 2001

Dear Colleagues,

Some 30,000 residents of Albay province in the Central Philippines were forced to flee their homes due to a violent eruption of Mayon volcano, known as one of 22 active volcanoes in the Philipinnes.

After two weeks of increased volcanic activity, the Mayon exploded with a series of eruptions, directly affecting 19 villages in 7 towns by pieces of lava that ejected some 20 km up from the summit.

Rapid reaction by local Governmental disaster bodies resulted in establishment of 23 evacuation centers to provide accommodation to the people on move. However, in spite of the efficiency of the initial response, the needs are constantly and rapidly growing with the prolonged eruption. Local population remains in need of food, clothes and hygiene items, in addition to primary health care to fight respiratory diseases caused by the disaster.

ACT member, the National Council of Churches in the Philipinnes (NCCP) has monitored the situation from the earliest signs of the upcoming eruption.

Based on a rapid needs assessment, NCCP came forth with the proposal to assist the affected in the following manner:

  • Distribution of food parcels
  • Distribution of medicines
  • Distribution of non-food items (clothes, blankets, sleeping matreses)
  • Distribution of agricultural seed

Project Completion Date: 28 February, 2002

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested

Total Appeal Target(s)
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd.
Balance Requested from ACT Network

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 102539/0.01.061 (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3 / SWITZERLAND

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

Ms. Geneviève Jacques Thor-Arne Prois Rev. Rudolf Hinz
Director ACT Coordinator Director
WCC/Cluster on Relations LWF/World Service

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.


NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES (NCCP) - Program Unit on Faith, Witness and Service Relief & Rehabilitation.


The NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES (NCCP) was formed in 1963 as a conciliar body composed of Churches and organizations that believed in Jesus Christ as the foundation of their being. The NCCP’s primary task is to foster among all Christians the unity which is God’s will, seeking to honor Him more worthily, and desiring to witness to Him more effectively.

Relief and Rehabilitation is a special program of the Faith, Witness and Service. It is involved in disaster management work with survivors of both natural and human-made emergency situations. This include relief services, education and training on disaster preparedness and rehabilitation assistance. Its network in the regions are church leaders, clergy and lay persons from the NCCP member churches, church-related organizations and peoples organizations. Others are organized through the Regional Ecumenical Councils (RECs) who are given training in disaster management and eventually became the implementing local partners or local volunteers.

The Relief and Rehabilitation is staffed by a licensed social worker (a requirement by the government to head a relief and rehabilitation agency/program), a driver -warehouseman. It is complemented by the personnel of the Faith, Witness and Service.


Mayon Volcano is one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines. It is one of the tourist attractions in the Philippines because of its perfect cone. It has erupted at least 41 times since 1616. Its last eruption was February last year which affected at least 14,000 families.

Early this year, Mayon Volcano again showed signs of abnormality. After two weeks of increased volcanic activity, it exploded on June 24. At around 3:00 A.M., the first district towns of Albay, especially Tabaco experienced ash (sulfuric dioxide) falls. A minor eruption occurred at 12:45 p.m. By 1:00 p.m. the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) immediately raised the alert status to maximum level, Alert Level 5, meaning a hazardous eruption is in progress with "bits and pieces of lava ejected possibly up to 20 kilometers from the summit." Eruptions then began at 2:44 p.m. followed by a more alarming explosion late in the afternoon. The 6-kilometer permanent danger zone was extended to 8-kilometer radius.

Heavy downpour of ash mixed with sands and tiny stones was also experienced in barangays Anoling and Quirangay of Camalig, Maninila and Masarawag of Guinobatan, Buyuan, Mabinit/Bonga and Matnag of Legazpi and Magapo and Sitio Nagsipit, Mariroc of Tabaco.

PHIVOLCS Director Raymundo Punongbayan said that with the present fluidity of fresh magma, an explosive eruption or even a bigger one was possible following the fountaining of lava. Mayon might still continue erupting because the volume of pyroclastic materials ejected since Sunday’s eruption was still very much less than that in the February 2000 eruption.

The government’s National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) spearheaded the evacuation of residents.

According to the report issued by the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council on June 26, the official number of evacuees in 23 evacuation centers rose up to 32,000 and is expected to increase following the evacuation of residents coming from the extended 8-kilometer danger zone. The report further indicated that if the number of evacuees would reach 40,000, the PDCC would be encountering shortage of resources since they only have enough provision for 20,000 evacuees.

It is expected that at least 60,000 persons could be forced to evacuate.

Two casualties were reported, one old woman who died of heart attack after the big explosion while a 37-year-old laborer died on the spot when his bicycle collided with a rescue car headed toward the volcano to pick up evacuees.

The government agencies are still in the process of assessing the extent of damage to agriculture and other infrastructure. However, small farmers have already expressed dismay and frustration after their vegetable crops were all destroyed by the ash fall and lava coming from the volcano.

General Information on Areas Affected

The Bicol Region (Region V), located south of Manila, is composed of four provinces (Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon) and two island provinces (Catanduanes and Masbate).

The Bicol Region is ranked as the second poorest region in the Philippines. In addition, Bicol frequently experiences disaster especially typhoon since it is located along the typhoon belt.

Mayon Volcano is located in the province of Albay and is composed of 17 municipalities and 1 city. Albay is basically an agricultural province. Mayon Volcano is surrounded by eight towns and one city. There are about half a million people living around Mayon Volcano.

NCCP member churches present in the province of Albay are United Church of Christ in the Philippines, United Methodist Church and The Salvation Army.

Location of Disaster

Albay Province

Locations for proposed emergency response and number and type of beneficiaries

Number of Families
Type of Beneficiaries
1. Sto. Domingo
Farmers, farm workers, women, children, elderly
2. Camalig
3. Legazpi City
4. Daraga
5. Guinobatan
6. Tabaco

Statistics on the Disaster

Mostly came from articles published in leading newspapers, disaster updates from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the press releases of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the non-government and peoples organizations in the area. The actual survey of the NCCP Andurog Mayon is also incorporated.

Description of Current Security Situation in Disaster Affected Areas

There is minimal or almost negligible security problem in the areas affected.

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