OCHA Flash Update No. 2 Philippines | Mayon Volcano Eruption, 30 January 2018
Alert level-4 (hazardous eruption imminent) remains in effect over Mayon Volcano located in Albay province, 300 km southeast of Manila. The volcano is showing high levels of continuing unrest, with lava fountains and frequent ash explosions occurring several times a day, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. On 28 January, day-long rainfall caused sediment-laden streamflows in channels draining the volcano edifice, rendering several roads in Albay impassable.
As of 30 January, more than 84,000 people had evacuated from nine Albay municipalities neighbouring Mount Mayon and are temporarily sheltered in 76 evacuation centres or are being hosted by relatives and friends, reports the Department of Social Welfare and Development. More than 49,000 learners from 49 schools in the 8 km radius danger zone are also affected. Over 10,000 farmers have suffered more than Php189 million (US$3.8 million) worth of damage to rice, corn and abaca crops.
Government response and humanitarian coordination
Provincial and municipal authorities continue to lead the disaster response with the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development field office and the Philippine Red Cross. Local authorities are conducting clearing operations on roads that were blocked by lahar and ashfall. With the heightened volcanic activity, the provincial government of Albay is now planning for a three-month evacuation, extended from the initial one-month plan.
Upon the request of the local government, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), composed of UN agencies and international humanitarian organizations, conducted a rapid coordinated needs assessment from 26 to 28 January. Camp managers and evacuees who were interviewed reported congestion in evacuation centres and the need for relief items such as sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking fuel and water containers. Temporary learning spaces are also needed to ensure the continuation of classes. Emergency shelter will help free up classrooms, a majority of which serve as evacuation centres. Evacuees have food supply from their farms or local markets, which is supplemented with food aid.
International and local humanitarian actors have been providing relief items such as face masks, hygiene and dignity kits. The Australian government has pledged P31.6 million ($627,000) worth of relief supplies for distribution to 30,000 affected people through the Philippine Red Cross.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.