Mayon evacuation centers need assistance

By Rhaydz B. Barcia LEGAZPI CITY---- The local government in Albay needs national aid to support tens of thousands people living temporarily in crowded evacuation camps following Mayon Volcano explosions on Saturday here. Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), said that the province is in dire need of funds to support the needs of Mayon evacuees following the volcano’s abnormal situation. “We’re conducting series of meeting and preparations to support the displaced families; unfortunately, there are no sufficient budget. We need the intervention of national government,” Daep said before heading to Sangguniang Panlalawigan to ask the august body to declare the province of Albay under the state of calamity and allow it to use the five percent calamity fund. At Tuesday’s briefing of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) presided by Albay Gov. Al Frances Bichara the latter asked the provincial board to declare the province under the state of calamity for local government units affected by Mayon eruption. The calamity fund may only be used when there is a state of calamity. Which may be officially declared by the provincial board and approved by the governor. The three cities of Albay, namely, Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao and five towns such as Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Sto. Domingo and Malilipot have been affected by Mayon’s restiveness since Saturday. The tens of thousands people displaced by Mayon eruption were housed temporarily in 153 classrooms of the Department of Education. The town of Camalig has the biggest number of evacuees with 1,494 families or 5,646 persons, followed by Daraga with 1,075 families or an equivalent of 4,512 persons; Guinobatan with 1,241 families or 3,286 persons; Malilipot with 768 families or 2,883 people, and; Sto. Domingo, 590 families or 2,770 persons. Among the three cities of Albay, Legazpi has 598 families or 2,707 persons, followed by Ligao City with 407 families or 1,848 and Tabaco City with 286 families or 1,100 persons. The number of evacuees is expected to increase in the coming days, according to Daep, once Alert Level 4 is declared by Phivolcs where the extended 8- to 9-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZs) in Legazpi City will have to be evacuated. Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist, said Mayon Volcano’s eruption is classified as vulcanian associated with magmatic eruption. An evacuee from Barangay Buang, Tabaco City, was reported to have succumbed to death inside the evacuation camp since the evacuation started last Sunday. Teodolo Presia, 81, of Barangay Buang in Tabaco City, reportedly died of stroke Tuesday morning as an ‘indirect casualty’ inside the evacuation center at Mayon Elementary School. Engr. Dante Baclao, provincial engineer of Albay said that based on their monitoring of evacuation centers, water, sanitation, and clogged toilets are the pressing problems hounding the many evacuation centers in the province. Water rationing was seen to have been resorted to by provincial rescue and health personnel.