Food and water, main concerns in evacuation centers as Mayon threatens big eruption
January 26 – There are now more than 70,000 evacuees in need of food and water as Mayon Volcano continues to spew more ashes and lava for nearly two weeks now.
The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) reported on January 24 that a total of 18,904 families or 72,091 individuals have temporarily left their communities to avoid the dangers of rock and ash fall.
On January 22, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level to 4, which indicates imminent hazardous eruption, forcing families from the 8 km extended danger zones to evacuate.
“Our houses are filled with ashes now,” Cynthia, 45, narrated. She lives in a village within the 6-kilometer permanent danger zonein Guibobatan. Her family evacuated two weeks ago.
World Vision conducted a rapid assessment in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga, coordinating with local chief executives and camp managers to monitor the evacuees’ current situation.
“Food is the main concern of the local government. If the situation continues for months, they would need more assistance from the national government and other organizations. The evacuees also need water for drinking and everyday use, hygiene kits, and thick mats that they can sleep on at night when the school room floor gets cold and pains their back,” Carol Cabading, World Vision rapid assessment team leader, said.
The local government units have been working round the clock to ensure that the evacuees’ basic needs are met. “Many of the families are farmers or livestock raisers. Since they cannot go back to their communities, they can do nothing but rely on the local government for assistance. There were also private organizations that extended help,” Anet Credio, World Vision rapid assessment team member, said after visiting some of the evacuation centers in Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga.
Mayon Volcano last threatened the region in November 2014, forcing more than 15,000 people to live in evacuation centres for nearly a month. World Vision, in partnership with the local government and USAID, provided emergency essentials, hygiene kits, kitchen sets and constructed water sanitation and health facilities to help address the pressing needs of the displaced families.World Vision/January 26, 2018