OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Philippines - Mt. Mayon Volcanic Eruption
25 June 2001
1. Mt. Mayon, which lies 330 km southeast of Manila, on the Philippine island of Luzon, erupted at 14.44 hrs (local time) on Sunday 24 June 2001, generating pyroclastic flows and ash columns. The eruptions were characterized by strong explosions, multiple pyroclastic flows around the volcano and lava that flowed into gullies on the southeastern flanks of the mountain. The main eruption cloud discharged from the crater rose to about 10 km in altitude, dispersing moderate to heavy ash in a north-easterly direction.
2. The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) issued a maximum, Level 5 Alert which denotes a hazardous eruption in progress. The affected areas include the previously delineated 8 km radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) to the southeast as well as areas to the southwest, east and farther to the northeast, all zones which are prone to heavy ash fall due to prevailing winds.
3. According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), so far, 25,576 people (4,751 families) have been evacuated to 15 evacuation centres. There have been no reports of injuries. Flights to Legaspi City were cancelled upon declaration of Alert Level 5.
4. Mt. Mayon is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It stands 2,462 metres high, and is of near-perfect conical shape. The mountain last erupted on 24 February 2000, its previous eruption in 1993 continued for two months and killed more than 70 people. History records at least 45 eruptions of Mt. Mayon, the worst of which occurring in 1814 and buried an entire town, killing about 1,200 people.
National and international response
5. The national Secretaries of Defence, Health and Social Welfare have visited Legaspi City along with other government officials to assess the situation. Relief supplies have been distributed. Activities encompassing evacuation of the affected population, information dissemination in print and broadcast form and monitoring activities are all in progress.
6. The following aspects of relief assistance are giving rise to concern:
- supply of relief commodities for evacuees;
- supply of potable water;
- insufficient lighting facilities.
7. No appeal for international assistance has been made to date.
8. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator in Manila, and will revert with further information if the situation warrants it.
9. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
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Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
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R. Mueller / Mr. S. Matsuka / Mr. K.Quiding
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 3512 / 3131 / 4034 / 1769
Press contact: (GVA) Ms. M. Moulin-Acedo, direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 60 - (N.Y.) Ms. P. Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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