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Updated: 27 min 36 sec ago

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue, Issue 28 | 01 – 30 September 2014

1 October 2014 - 2:51am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alert levels raised for Mayon Volcano

  • Flashfloods and landslides caused by Typhoon Kalmaegi

  • Sphere standards lacking in Masempla Transition Site

  • Reaching historical milestones with Bangsomoro

  • Simulation in Region VIII

  • Accountability mainstreamed in OCHA Philippines

Mayon Volcano alert levels raised

Mayon Volcano was declared Alert Level 3 (critical status), rising from Level 2 (alarming status) on 15 September 2014. A 6 kilometre (km) permanent danger zone prevents people from living too close to the volcano and with the increased risk there is now an extended high-risk zone (HRZ) in a 6 to 8 km radius, affecting Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco cities.

More than 12,500 families evacuated from 39 barangays (lowest administrative unit in the Philippines) within the HRZ, according to the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (30 September 2014).

Members of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) including ACF, IOM, Plan International, UNICEF,
WFP, WHO and OCHA joined the Government for a one-day field visit to jointly survey three evacuation centres.

It is not known when the volcano will erupt or what type of eruption will occur. For instance in a vulcanian eruption, hot gas and rocks could reach a radius of 6 km while ash fall could stretch over 10 km. A strombolian blast however, is a low-level eruption that could spew lava quietly or produce a lava fountain 1 to 2 km from the crater.

While waiting for the volcano to erupt, schools are used as evacuation shelters for the displaced, and the government and humanitarian community are responding to the needs of the people. UNICEF provided 155 tents as temporary schools with an additional 20 temporary learning spaces provided by UNICEF and Plan International. UNICEF and Solidarite provided 400 tarpaulins to the Albay local government unit (LGU) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

WFP provided a total of 245 metric tonnes of rice to the Albay LGU and the DSWD, as well as non-food items including mosquito nets and dust masks.

Relatively minor volcanic activity was reported from Mayon between 2008 and 2010, however in 2006, 40,000 people were evacuated from the 8 km danger zone on the southeast flank of the volcano. No loss of life was recorded during the actual eruption period, but lahar (volcanic deposits) flow caused by the rains of Typhoon Durian (locally known as Reming) on 30 November 2006, buried several barangays and killed thousands.

Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines and erupted over 48 times in the past 400 years.