Mayon Volcano Erupts Anew

News and Press Release
Originally published
by Louie Baclagon
MANILA. The Philippines' Mayon volcano, famous for its perfect cone shape, erupted again on July 26 and sent more than 40,000 residents who had just returned to their homes back to evacuation centers.

There are currently 9,371 families ( 44,079 individuals) in 30 evacuation centers, from 2 cities and 7 municipalities.

The country's most active volcano, located about 325 southeast of Manila, spewed black ash 13 kilometers into the air and tons of volcanic debris, including boulders as big as trucks. The major eruption was Mayon's second since its explosion last June 23.

Authorities have widened the danger area from an initial six-kilometer radius to beyond eight kilometers, where there are an estimated 100,000 residents in five towns near Mayon. It is inside the six-kilometer zone where almost all of the evacuees came from.

Albay province governor, Al Francis Bichara, has appealed to the national government and public for help. "Our province's calamity funds and supplies are already dwindling," he said. "We cannot afford to sustain these people."

Bichara said 30 buildings, mostly schools, had been converted to evacuation centers that could hold up to 60,000 people. Local health officials, however, expressed concern over the possibility of outbreak of disease due to the evacuation centers' lack of ventilation, clean water, sanitation facilities, and medical supplies.

World Vision dispatched a team to Albay province to assess the situation of the evacuees and is planning to provide food assistance.

World Vision had already provided food assistance to nearly 2,000 families during last month's eruption.

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