10,000 Albay families eyed for relocation

By Cet Dematera


If only to remove vulnerable population out of harm’s way of natural calamities, the Albay provincial government has to relocate at some 10,000 families presently residing along coastlines, flood- and landslide-prone areas, and inside the six-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ) around Mayon Volcano.


Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) chief, said that they had already started zoning and mapping of these high-risk areas in the province, using the latest data after series of typhoons, volcanic eruptions and lahar flows hit the province in recent years.


“We need to get the latest and actual data after several natural disasters, such as typhoons and volcanic eruptions, happened in Albay in the recent years,” Daep said.


He said relocations must be carried out while there is a lull in the lashings of natural disasters.


Daep said they would be using state-of-the-art drone to get aerial shots of these danger zones and high-risk areas, particularly the new configuration of lahar and other volcanic materials deposited along the slopes of Mayon that last erupted in 2018.


“We already conducted several surveys around Mayon and in elevated grounds and low-lying areas of Albay as initial step in determining who should be relocated,” Daep said.


Daep said potential residents for relocations are those residing inside the danger zones of Mayon Volcano in Guinobatan, Camalig, Ligao City, Daraga, and Legazpi City.


Also needing immediate relocation are the residents in Barangay San Roque in Malilipot town where some 130 families are now staying in tents inside a public school as their houses are under threat by an ongoing soil erosion there.


“In fact, I told them to evacuate already as early as 1993 because experts told us that the village is prone to landslide and soil erosion. Now it is happening already,” Daep said.


On Nov. 1, Typhoon “Rolly” had buried under lahar, sand and boulders at least five people and more than 30 houses.