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PBBM: Get out of harm’s way

Assures funds, food packs ready amid Mayon’s continued unrest

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged residents living inside the danger zone of Mayon Volcano to heed the evacuation instructions and directives of their local government officials to ensure their safety.

“With the declaration of a state of calamity in Albay due to Mayon Volcano’s restiveness, we are reminding Bicolano residents to follow the recommendation and evacuation instructions of your local officials to ensure everyone’s safety,” the President said.

In a briefing in Albay on Saturday, Eugene Escobar, research division chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), said at least 10,000 families or about 40,000 residents will be evacuated this weekend — almost double the initial estimate.

NEW LAVA DOME. A new summit lava dome at the crater of Mayon Volcano emerges as its pre-existing one has been pushed out in increments, resulting in a series of rockfall in the first week of June 2023. The Mayon Volcano Network has recorded a total of 579 rockfall incidents since June 1, 2023. Phivolcs Facebook Page

Albay Gov. Edcel “Grex” Lagman said Saturday around 3,000 families have already been evacuated after Alert Level 3 was raised due to Mayon’s volcanic activity.

Mr. Marcos said government funds and food packs are available for affected residents, citing the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s P114 million quick response fund, P5 million in standby fund, and 179,000 family food packs in Disaster Response Centers.

The DSWD has also readied a P67.8 million fund and 814,758 family food packs in other field offices to support the relief needs of areas affected by Mayon’s seismic activities, Mr. Marcos said.

The families to be evacuated are those living inside the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone as well as the 7-kilometer radius of the volcano, covering the villages in Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Legazpi, Ligao, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo and Tabaco.

Lagman said preemptive evacuation efforts started in Camalig and Guinobatan as they are the towns most vulnerable to the volcanic activity.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology released new photos of Mayon volcano’s summit on Saturday showing a new lava dome emerging.

“A new summit lava dome in the Mayon Volcano Crater emerges as its pre-existing one has been pushed out in increments that formed rockfall in the first week of June 2023,” Phivolcs said.

Meanwhile, Taal and Kanlaon volcanoes remained under Alert Level 1.

Taal Volcano in Batangas has emitted a plume reaching 1,500 meters, with voluminous emission and northeast drift while Kanlaon Volcano, located on Negros Island, emitted a plume reaching 500 meters, with a moderate emission and northeast drift in the past 24 hours.

DSWD Sec. Rex Gatchalian said the President may visit the Albay anytime soon, adding that he will not be surprised if Mr. Marcos “just flies in anytime.”

“The President used to be a local chief executive, and he’s very hands-on when it comes to running the government, more so during calamities like this. So, I won’t be surprised if we see his airplane and he arrives in no time,” Gatchalian said.

The last time Mayon Volcano erupted was in January 2018, when it spewed red-hot lava and massive ash plumes that affected 56,000 residents.

Dubbed the world’s perfect volcanic cone due to its symmetry, Mayon has been a popular site for climbers and tourists alike.

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