Evacuation by sea readied if situation in Mayon Volcano worsens
The Philippine Navy is preparing for a possible mass evacuation to a town 20 kilometers away from the scene if the situation in the province of Albay worsens due to activity of Mayon Volcano.
Ensign Estella Jane Sasil, public affairs officer of Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol), said Friday their unit has "intensified its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response preparations as Mt. Mayon remains restive."
"Following the successive summit explosions of Mt. Mayon since last week, Navforsol had formulated concepts of evacuation if roads become unpassable when the major eruption happens," she said.
Sasil said their plan includes mass evacuation if there is a major eruption.
"In case the situation gets worse and volcano’s activity necessitates evacuation at a larger scale, the local residents will be evacuated seaward to Manito, Albay, with a distance of 20 kilometers radius from the summit vent," she said.
"Travel time will take an hour. After they are transferred to Manito, the vessel will return to Legazpi to ferry another wave of evacuees", she added.
Sasil also noted that as part of their preparation the Navforsol is also coordinating with the Philippine Navy headquarters for the deployment of additional assets in the province.
"Currently, three floating assets are within the vicinity of Legazpi City. These vessels can accommodate a total of 300 individuals," she said.
"Navforsol also coordinated with the higher headquarters and requested for additional vessels to maximize the probable mass evacuation of displaced individuals," she added
Sasil said they are involved in the distribution of relief goods for the affected population.
"Navforsol, a member of Task Force SAGIP, also works closely with the Local Government Units and Non-government organizations by sending its personnel for relief operations," she said.
"They visited different evacuation centers to distribute goods and offer psycho-social relief care. In addition, two fully-equipped Disaster Risk Reduction Teams are on standby for dispatch," she noted.
"Navforsol and the whole of Philippine Navy are committed to the people when it comes to HADR. When unfavorable situations occur, rest assured that the Philippine Navy will continue to perform its mandate as protector of the people even in the face of disasters," Sasil added.
Based on the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) the number of families displaced because of the continues volcanic activities has reached more than 20,000 or more than 80,000 people.
According to the NDRRMC. a total of 18,365 families or 69,672 individuals were being served inside the total of 69 evacuation centers, while 2,822 families or 11,946 persons were outside evacuation centers. Robina Asido/DMS