OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Philippines - Mt. Mayon Volcanic Eruption
16 July 2001
The Government of the Philippines has requested UN System assistance and would welcome international help to support the population affected by Mt. Mayon volcanic eruption.
1. After Mt. Mayon, which lies 330 km southeast of Manila, on the Philippine island of Luzon, erupted on 24 June 2001, a decrease in volcanic activity began on 3 July. There has been a persistent overall decline in its activity. The lack of explosion and deflation of the edifice also indicate that no active magma intrusion is taking place.
2. The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) further lowered the alert condition on 13 July to Alert Level 3 which means that there is less probability of hazardous explosive eruption. The 7 km-radius Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) in the southwest sector is no longer in effect. However, PHIVOLCS reminds the public to avoid occupying, on a long-term basis, areas within the 6 km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano.
3. According to the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), as of 12 July, there were 15,256 people (3,157 families) in 8 evacuation centres in the municipalities of Daraga, Malilipot, Sto Domingo and Camalig and cities of Legaspi and Tabaco. Damage to agriculture is estimated at PHP 40 million (USD 792,000). There have been no reports of injuries.
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 Albay Provincial Relief Service Committee has been continuously providing relief assistance to the remaining evacuees. The estimated amount of assistance provided to date stands at over PHP 20 million (USD 396,000) which includes a PHP 10 million (USD198,000) NDCC cash assistance to the local authorities from the National Calamity Fund.
6. Local health office is continuously conducting disease surveillance, providing safe drinking water using the water filtration system and releasing health advice to address issues regarding sanitation and hygiene in the remaining evacuation centres. There were 27 cases of acute respiratory infection reported.
7. The Philippine Government has requested UN System assistance and would welcome international help. The immediate concerns of the Government are relief commodities, medicines, potable water, mats, toilets and waste management facilities, and preventing the outbreak of acute respiratory infections.
8. In response to the request from the Government, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i. convened a meeting of Heads of UN Agencies in country on 12 July to discuss possible UN assistance to support the affected population. UNICEF has provided blankets and other relief supplies worth USD 20,000.
9. IFRC has been monitoring the situation in consultation with the Philippine National Red Cross which is working with the local authorities on relief operations. Action by Churches Together (ACT) and World Vision are also monitoring the situation and providing relief.
10. OCHA is providing an OCHA Emergency Grant of USD 20,000 for the most urgent needs.
11. OCHA is prepared to serve as channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Philippines - Volcanic Eruption. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.
12. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.
13. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator in Manila, and will revert with further information if the situation warrants it.
14. 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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