Philippines

Philippines: PRC prepares for Mt. Mayon eruption

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Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has coordinated with local government units (LGUs) in relief distribution. Meetings regarding organizational set-up are continually underway in the Philippine Red Cross Albay Chapter. Staff and volunteers are on duty 24/7 and on alert status for further interventions.

In addition, through the "Libreng Tawag" project, a collaboration of PRC and Smart Philippines Inc based in Albay, free telephone service was provided to the Albay Central School last December 21, 2009. Two volunteers were deployed to man the telecommunication service.

PRC closely coordinates with Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) as preparation measure, to ensure the efficiency of the disaster response operation.

A total of 44, 637 persons or 9,276 families were evacuated from the municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Legazpi City, Tobaco City, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Ligao City and Guinobatan. 12 volunteers and 1 staff were deployed to the aforementioned evacuation centers for Health Assessment and Hygiene Promotion.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate remained very high and was measured at an average of 6,529 tons per day (t/d) yesterday. Intensified crater glow was observed during a short cloud break last night.

Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. The lava front has reached about 5 kilometers down slope from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gully.

Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterated that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity.

Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar-prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there would heavy and prolonged rainfall.

"Our disaster response capacity and disaster risk reduction operations will be strongly tested with the imminent eruption of Mayon volcano," said PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon.

"We have been warned over and over regarding the imminent explosion therefore, we must do our best to avoid casualties," he added.

Meanwhile, PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang lauded Smart Inc saying, "The company exhibits social consciousness and responsibility."

She further added that if all corporations would emulate their acts of generosity, the alleviation of human suffering would easily be undertaken.