Senator Loren Legarda 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. Alert Level 3 remains in the area, which means that the volcano is 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,” Legarda said, adding that “the public must also trust our officials and understand that what they are doing is to secure our safety and welfare.”
The veteran legislator said 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,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
The lady 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 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.
Our agencies and local government officials must strive to ensure zero casualties.
“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.