Albay gov’t promises ‘no casualties’ as magma movement continues inside Mayon

MANILA, Jan 20 (Mabuhay) — The local government of Albay on Saturday assured the public there will be no casualties from the thousands of people evacuated as restive Mount Mayon continues to indicate signs of magma movement.

“Sa ngayon mine-maintain namin ‘yung thousands of individuals sa evacuation centers coming from 32 barangays. Tuluy-tuloy pa rin ‘yung aming operation. Tuloy-tuloy ang relief. Nag-provide kami ng water dispenser para safe ‘yung water nila,” Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) head Cedric Daep said.

Daep said visitors could still come to Albay, but strict regulations regarding the prohibited danger zone remain.

“Kung may pupunta dito okay lang, ang safety ay nasa 10-kilometers. Huwag lang papasok sa six and seven kilometers, ang layo layo nu’n sa mga centers, so puwede silang pumunta dito, safe. Pero i-maintain natin ang casualty kasi binabantayan natin na wala talagang makakapasok sa prohibited danger zone,” he said.

“‘Yung mga nasa outside ng seven kilometers puwedeng bumalik, except ‘yung mga nasa seven at nasa six, huwag babalik,” he added.

Magma movement

Daep said the volcano is indicating signs that magma may still rise.

“Bumaba ‘yung lava flow pero intense pa rin, inflated ‘yung volcanic edifice, namamaga pa rin siya, at may mga indication na tuloy pa rin ang movement ng magma paakyat.”

The APSEMO said it has already sought help from the national government to provide temporary learning shelters as students in Albay area are not able to go to school due to the situation.

“Nagre-request kami ng support para sa temporary learning school ng DepEd kasi may mga dislocated pa tayong school children, kasi ginagamit na evacuation centers [‘yung mga schools nila],” Daep said.

He also said water dispensers were already in place, but the evacuees will be needing water containers.

Wet hanky vs. face mask

Daep said evacuees were advised to use wet handkerchiefs or clothes when covering their faces from the smoke and ashes as those were deemed more effective than face masks.

“Ang counter-measures na pinapagamit sa amin mga panyo o mga basang tela na puwedeng maka-protect kasi ‘yung mga face masks mas mukhang hindi ensured. So basain lang ‘yung kanilang mga tela or panyo, ‘yun ang pinaka-safe na protection.”

Regarding face masks, “kasi may mga spaces pa ‘yan sa side na puwedeng pasukin pa rin ng abo,” Daep said.

For those who would like to have a close up view of Mayon’s activity, Daep said viewing areas have also been prepared.

“May mga viewing areas naman kaming recommended. Du’n sila pupunta at makikita nila kapag open ang Mayon Volcano. Para talagang kitang kita nila ng full view ang Mayon ‘pag gabi,” Daep said.

“Dito sa Daraga Church, sa Lignon Hill, dito sa airport area kung nasaan nandu’n ‘yung PHIVOLCS at saka dito sa boulevard ng Legazpi, kitang-kita ‘yun, ang laki-laki ng mga spaces du’n, puwede silang pumunta,” he added.

The local government said relatives should not be worried as evacuees in Albay are already out of the danger zone.

“‘Yung panawagan natin, lalo na sa mga relatives ng mga taga-rito, huwag silang mag-alala kasi ‘yung population sa danger zone evacuated na at identified namin ‘yung mga prohibited zone, lagi kaming naglalabas ng information. Makipag-coordinate sa amin at siguardong safe sila,” Daep said.

“At kailangan pa rin namin ‘yung support thoroughly para hindi magkaroon ng gap ‘yung ating distribution kasi kung minsan, kakapusin tayo ‘pag naubusan. Pero walang problema kasi may augmentation naman sa atin ang national government,” he added. (MNS)

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