Salceda orders inventory of evacuation shelters as Mt. Mayon’s restiveness intensifies

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 17 (PNA) — As the restiveness of Mt. Mayon continues to intensify due to magma buildup, Albay Governor Joey Salceda has ordered an inventory of school classrooms that could be used as evacuation camps of tens of thousands of Albayanos should the volcano explode.

Salceda’s directive to local government units came two days after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert warning status of Mt. Mayon from Level 1 to Level 2 due to the abnormal activities of the volcano.

The governor wants local officials across the province to assess the classrooms, water, toilet facilities — including solid and liquid waste disposal system, communal kitchen, medical station with provision for normal spontaneous delivery, breast-feeding corner and recreational space to ensure the comfortable condition of the evacuees in times of natural calamity.

He also reactivated the health emergency teams (HETs) to be dispatched to the different local government units to be affected by the Mayon volcano eruption.

The HETs are composed of rapid health assessment team, medical team, SPEED team, mental health and psychosocialteam, nutrition team, and health promotion team and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team.

He also alerted the ALbay HEMS emergency officers on duty at the Albay Operation Center at this early so that all disaster responders will be in place before the possible hazardous explosion of Mayon volcano.

Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist, reported increasing volcanic gas emissions and slight but persistent swelling due to the intrusion of magma beneath the volcano while sulfur dioxide emission posts an average of 850 tons per day, higher than the normal 500 tons per day, for the past two months now. (PNA)