Philippines: Mayon Volcano Eruption - DREF Operation Update n° 2 MDRPH027

Situation Report
Originally published


Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operation Update extends this DREF operation’s timeframe from three to five months, with an end date of 20 June 2018. A three-month operation was launched when the volcano was at warning level III with an affected population of 39,902 people. With the subsequent increase in volcanic activity, the warning level was increased to level IV and extended the affected population to over 90,000 people. This evolving situation has contributed to the need to modify the initially planned timeframe for this operation.

The emergency situation remained constant until 29 March when the Government reduced the warning level and the affected population began returning to their homes. At the end of this reporting period, PRC is engaged in providing humanitarian support so people can return to their homes. Among the primary actions include the final distribution of dignity kits and the completion of post-distribution surveys. A lessons learnt workshop is also planned for the final phase of this operation, thus contributing to the strengthening of the National Society’s capacities in similar operations in the future.


Description of the disaster

13 January 2018, 17H00: Mayon heightened activities, generating steam and ash.

14 January, 00H30: As more phreatic eruptions occur, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) raised Mayon from alert level I (abnormal) to alert level II (increasing unrest).

14 January, 11H40: Mayon’s crater exhibited signs of a new lava dome and beginnings of lava flowed towards the southern slopes. PHILVOLCS raised the alert to level III (high unrest), signifying an increased tendency towards hazardous eruption, that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days. With the level III alert raised, PHILVOLCS recommended a 6-kilometre permanent danger zone and a 7-kilometre extended danger zone be enforced – prohibiting all unauthorized human activities within the extended radius – due to danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that could have generated hazardous volcanic flows.

16 January: Lava flowed and more rockfall events were observed. More than 3,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (six times the normal daily emissions) was emitted by Mayon on this day. The provincial board declared Albay under state of calamity, allowing local governments to use their calamity funds for relief operation.

22 January: PHILVOLCS raised the alert level to IV (hazardous eruption imminent) due to a 5-kilometre high and dense ash generated by a phreatomagmatic eruption, which spread ash west and southwest of the volcano. An 8-kilometre extended danger zone was implemented. Families within the radius were ordered to evacuate and seize activities. The DSWD-Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) reported that a total of 21,358 families or 81,556 persons took temporary shelter in 96 evacuation centres.

29 March: After the volcanic activity reduced, the alert level status of the volcano was downgraded to Level II.

On 29 March, the alert level of the volcano was downgraded to Level II due to Mayon volcano’s decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption. Based on the terminal report from DSWD-DROMIC, all affected families both inside the evacuation centres and displaced families could return to their homes.

The DSWD reported that PHP 418.450 million (CHF 7.7 million) worth of assistance was provided to affected families; of which, PHP 100.694 million came from DSWD; PHP 56.388 million from the local government units; PHP 57.198 million from NGOs; and PHP 204.170 million from other humanitarian assistance.