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Legarda calls for DRR Measures for Possible Mayon Volcano Eruption

Senator Loren Legarda on Wednesday called on national and local government officials to implement Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures amid the threat of Mayon Volcano’s eruption in Legazpi City, Albay.

At the same time, Legarda encouraged the public to heed the call of authorities to evacuate and seek shelter away from danger zones.

Albay has been placed under a state of calamity 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 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, who is a DRR Champion for the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), said frontline agencies must provide the necessary support for the needs of the affected families. These include the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“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 echoed the call of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) for the public to be vigilant and to desist from entering the six km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southern flank.

She pointed to the danger of rock falls, landslides, and sudden explosions or dome collapse which 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,” Legarda said.

“We have done so in the past, and we can do it again. A zero-casualty count should be our standard in all our disaster risk reduction and management efforts,” the senator also said.#