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Seaward evacuation seen once Mayon’s ‘big bang’ happens

By Francis Wakefield
The Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NavForSoL) has intensified its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response preparations as the Mayon Volcano in Albay remains restive.

In a phone interview Saturday, Ensign Jane Sasil, the acting director of NavForSol Public Affairs Office, said, the NavForSoL has formulated plans for evacuation once roads become impassable after a major eruption.

Lava flows from the crater of Mount Mayon Volcano during anew eruption in Legazpi city, Albay, January 27,2018.(Czar Dancel)

Lava flows anew from the crater of Mount Mayon Volcano in Legazpi City, Albay, January 27,2018. (Czar Dancel)

Sasil said the local residents will be evacuated seaward to Manito, Albay, which is a 20-km. radius away from the summit vent in case the situation gets worse and the volcano’s activity necessitates evacuation at a larger scale.

Travel time will take an hour. After they are transferred to Manito, the vessel will return to Legazpi to ferry another wave of evacuees.

Currently, three floating assets — a patrol ship, a patrol boat and patrol craft–are within the vicinity of Legazpi City. These vessels can accommodate a total of 300 individuals. NavForSoL also coordinated with the Higher Headquarters and requested for additional vessels to maximize the probable mass evacuation of displaced individuals.

“Yes, we are considering our vessels for seaward evacuation in case the situation worsens or Mayon Volcano has a major eruption thus making roads impassable.. and also due to zero visibility,” Sasil told Manila Bulletin.

Meanwhile, NavForSoL, a member of Task Force SAGIP, also works closely with local government units and non-government organizations by sending its personnel for relief operations.

They already visited different evacuation centers to distribute goods and offer psycho-social relief care. In addition, two fully-equipped Disaster Risk Reduction Teams are already on standby for dispatch.

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