Legarda Urges Authorities to Implement DRR Measures in Possible Mayon Volcano Eruption

January 17, 2018

In light of the recent eruptive activities of Mayon Volcano in Albay, Senator Loren Legarda today urged both national and local government officials to implement disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures and encouraged the public to heed the call of authorities to evacuate and seek shelter away from danger zones.

The Province of Albay has been placed under a state of calamity amid the threat of Mayon Volcano’s eruption as Alert Level 3 remains in effect, which means that the volcano is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days.

“Our authorities should effectively carry out disaster risk reduction measures in order to save lives and prevent further danger. They should also be extra vigilant in performing their duties as we expect the situation in Mayon Volcano to get worse. The public must also trust our officials and understand that what they are doing is to secure our safety and welfare,” Legarda said.

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, said that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as well as other frontline agencies, must provide the necessary support for the needs of the affected families.

“We must ensure that those in the evacuation centers are provided with basic needs such as food, potable water, medicine, latrines with clean water, so that citizens would not have a reason to go back to their homes as we expect a possible eruption,” Legarda said.

The Senator also reiterated the call of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) for the public to be vigilant and desist from entering the six km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southern flanks due to the danger of rock falls, landslides, and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.

Collapse and some degassing events at the summit crater have generated ash that fell on several barangays and lava flow has advanced on the Miisi and Bonga gullies.

“As we brace for harsher activities or a possible eruption from Mayon Volcano, our agencies and local government officials must strive to ensure zero casualties. We have done so in the past, and we can definitely do it again. A zero-casualty count should be our standard in all our disaster risk reduction and management efforts,” Legarda concluded.