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Mayon volcano in the Philippines is set to erupt

World Vision preparing to respond as Mayon volcano in the Philippines is set to erupt

World Vision Philippines is preparing to establish an operational base and assist authorities in the Philippines as they are awaiting a major eruption of the Mayon volcano any day.

Mayon is about 320km southeast of the capital, Manila, where relief and recovery work is still under way after the devastation caused by Typhoon Ketsana in October this year.

World Vision Philippines do not oversee any development programmes in the immediate vicinity, but a pre-incident response team has been dispatched to Legazpi City in the Philippines’ Albay Province to assess the situation and the mass evacuation of 40,000 people currently under way.

Boy Bersales, World Vision Philippines Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Director, said he had met with the provincial disaster co-ordination council and been informed that all those in danger from an eruption had been evacuated. The 40,000 evacuees, 85 per cent of the population in the area, had been moved to temporary shelters, where food and water stations had been set up. About 50,000 masks to prevent smoke and ash inhalation had also been distributed to displaced people.

“The local authorities in Albay Province are considered to be some of the best prepared in the Philippines for natural disasters. World Vision is pooling a list of volunteer staff who will serve as first and second responders, should we conduct a relief operation in Albay. World Vision has also been asked to provide a food packs for evacuees over Christmas, as villagers would be away from their homes over the festive period,” Mr Bersales said.

Assistance by World Vision could include the evacuation and registration of evacuees, and camp management for the displaced.

The volcano has been spewing lava for more than a week, setting off hundreds of tremors a day. Deep rumbling has been heard from the base of its cone.

Mayon's last eruption in October 2006 was followed by a lahar (an avalanche of volcanic water and mud down the slopes of a volcano) the following month.

ENDS

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