Mayon’s ashfall affects 178 villages in Camarines Sur


NAGA CITY—The ashfall from the erupting Mayon Volcano has affected 178 villages, mostly in the towns in the fifth district of Camarines Sur in the boundary with Albay province.

Luzena N. Bermeo, head of Camarines Sur’s Environment and Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (Edmero), said all villages in Iriga City and the towns of Balatan, Bato, Baao and Nabua are affected.

Bermeo said the provincial government has established an Incident Command Post in Iriga City to respond to incidence of ashfall in the fifth district of Camarines Sur.

She added that a fire truck and two lorries were deployed to help clean up the ashfall in the affected villages. She added that gas masks were distributed in Balatan and Nabua towns due to the thick ashfall.

In Iriga City, Marieser Almelor, city disaster risk reduction management officer, said Wednesday there are 36 barangays affected by the ashfall of which 17 are severely affected with at least one inch of ash.

Almelor said classes in all levels, private and public, have been suspended since Monday.

She said the city government distributed 1,500 masks to the barangays extremely affected by ashfall, comprising more than 50,000 individuals.

Almelor said they experienced heavy ashfall last Monday but they were able to cope and respond immediately because of the information campaign launched in the barangays regarding the effects of Mayon eruption and the precaution that must be taken prior to the bigger eruption that started on January 22.

“We went around the barangays and activated the barangay disaster risk reduction teams and directed them to disseminate the information to the villagers regarding the possibility of ash fall reaching Iriga City,” she said.

So far, she said, they have not received any report of people falling ill as a result of the ash fall.

Almelor said the City Health Office monitors the health situation in the communities 24/7.

She said they have started flushing out ash on the roads utilizing fire trucks and on Wednesday, the priority for ash clean-up are the barangays extremely affected.

Almelor also said the city government has deployed a special rescue unit of the Bureau of Fire Protection to Albay to assist the province in its needs in relation to the eruption of Mayon Volcano.

On Wednesday, she said, the city government sent 1,000 kilos of tilapia to Tabaco City to augment the food supply for the victims of eruption now housed in the evacuation centers. Juan Escandor, Jr/