By Celso Amo
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Abay Provincial Health Office (PHO) continues to provide health services to the decamped Mayon evacuees, particularly the provision of safe potable water.
“We provide them with decontaminant tablets to insure their drinking water is safe,” said Antonio Ludovice, Jr., Albay provincial health officer, said.
At the same time health authorities always remind the evacuees not to drink ashfall-contaminated water from open wells after the Environment Management Bureau found out that water from river channels around Mayon Volcano are heavily polluted with ash fall.
Ludovice said latrines at the evacuation site will be applied with antiseptics to prevent the spread of diseases and other ailments.
Pregnant and lactating women will be given vitamins inside evacuation centers as well as those who had already decamped or went back to their homes.
“We could still be needing additional funds from the calamity fund to buy medicine and supplies for the decamped and those evacuees who are still staying at the evacuation sites,” said Ludovice.
Health monitoring, surveillance and medical missions continue among the remaining evacuees who were not yet allowed to go home because their abodes lie within the 6 kilometer permanent danger zone, Ludovice said.
He said the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital(BRTTH) and district hospitals have rooms for the evacuees’ hospitalization, as well as laboratory tests for free.
“Even out-patients are given medicines and rural health units are instructed to address their health needs,” said Ludovice.
The provincial health officer is optimistic the health needs of the decamped evacuees as well as those who are still staying at the evacuation centers can be met after the Department of Health revealed that a P1B fund has been set aside for this year for the purchase of medicines and equipment for all district hospitals and rural health units in Albay.
Red Cross cash assistance
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, arrived in Legazpi City Friday morning last week and travelled to Sto. Domingo, Albay to distribute cash assistance amounting to P3,000 for some 2,900 decamped families.
Gordon said giving cash to evacuees is more dignified since they can buy the things they want and needed most.
“I wish some of the evacuees will also be Red Cross volunteers ,” he said.
Roseville Rivero, Red Cross Albay head, said evacuees in Sto.Domingo were chosen for the cash assistance because other evacuees had already received Red Cross assistance earlier.
The cash giving started on Friday and continued on Saturday.
Red Cross cash assistance so far totaled P8.7M.
Meanwhile, Don Asejo, information officer of DPWH second engineering district, said his office provided vehicles to transport evacuees back to their homes.
Asejo also said the DepEd administrator can decide to maintain or remove the temporary toilets put up by the DPWH.
A Tabaco City DRRMO officer said the city government under Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro will continue to provide support to the evacuees from the 7- and 8-kilometer extended danger zone who are economically dislocated will continue to receive relief support since they cannot tend their crops planted within the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone.
Mayon’s activity in the past 24 hours was characterized by lava fountaining, lava flow and degassing from the summit crater.
Alert Level 3
Seven lava fountaining events from 7:19 a.m. on Thursday to 6:00 a.m. on Friday which generated ash plumes that rose 300 meters above the summit crater before drifting southwest.
These were accompanied by rumbling sounds audible beyond 10 kilometers of the summit crater.
At night, lava flows were observed to continue moving downslope within 3.3 kilometers, 4.5 kilometers and 1.9 kilometers from the crater on the Miisi, Bonga and Basud Gullies, respectively.
A total of one hundred eighty seven volcanic earthquakes and thirty one rockfall events were recorded by Mayon’s seismic monitoring network.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 2,060 tons a day on March 8, 201
Deflation of the lower slopes that began on 20 February is still being recorded by electronic tilt and by Precise Levelling (PL) surveys.
Nonetheless, overall ground deformation data indicate that the edifice is still swollen or inflated relative to pre-eruption baselines.
Alert Level 3 currently prevails over Mayon Volcano.