It’s been more than two weeks now (and counting), the evacuees of about forty seven thousand people are huddled in designated safe centers in the province of Albay. The “former” residents who called their home the slopes of restive, almost perfect-coned Mayon volcano, spent their first Christmas and New Year, in cramped and crowded surroundings.
In Travesia Elementary School evacuation center located in barangay Maninila, Guinobatan town, there are more than four hundred children from infants to sixteen years old. In all other centers, there are many children of varying age who suffer in silence and discomfort, albeit with constant fear and uncertainty about their present predicament.
Yesterday, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council chaired by Governor Joey Salceda ordered the Albay Electric Cooperative, the National Power Corporation and the local water utilities provider to cut-off electricity and water supply on all barangays within the permanent danger zone.
Also, delivery of other government services will be cut off in the area. The move was arrived at upon confirmed reports that evacuees still return to their abandoned homes to cook food for the traditional “Noche Buena” on new year’s eve, aside from tourists who cannot be refrained from stepping into the “no man’s land”.
The governor went on a late night radio broadcast urging residents and the general population to follow the government’s call in support of the zero casualty drive during this time of Mayon alert level four emergency.
The governor made known that family-evacuees in twenty nine centers around the province will receive food packages for media noche. He also assured the continuous daily distribution of firewood, allocation of 24 liters of potable water and bath water. Evacuation of farm animals is also underway.
On a more positive note, the United Nations World Food Program has sent 20 metric tons of high-energy and vitamin-packed biscuits for the evacuees. A temporary warehousing storage was set up at the Legazpi city navy base for the relief items.
Many local and international humanitarian organizations are visible working hand in hand with the local government help set up additional tents, latrines, water and sanitation facilities.
There were 60 volcanic earthquakes yesterday and 267 rock fall occurrences as detected by the seismic instruments located in Lignon hill. A lower volume of sulfur dioxide emission was measured at 1,158 tons compared to previous days.
On Tuesday, the government issued mudflow warning in view of the predicted rain this weekend that may hit the vicinities of the volcano. Todate, thousands of tons of lava and potential lahar components are deposited on the shoulders of Mayon and rain is not a welcome occurrence in the place at this time.
Will post a rejoinder on this (later) on Cbanga360 on Facebook.
Thanks to Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia. See more skies on this link. Skywatch Friday
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