DA: Gov’t agri aid to Mayon evacuees tops P2.4-M

The government has provided more than PHP2.4 million in agricultural assistance to residents affected by the continuing unrest of Mayon Volcano in Albay, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Wednesday. In its latest bulletin, the DA said PHP1.25 million worth of drugs, biologics, and feeds were provided for the evacuated animals, as well as regular livestock health monitoring and disease surveillance to safeguard the well-being and health of the animals residing in the centers, while simultaneously preventing the spread of potentially harmful diseases. It also distributed PHP1.17 million worth of agricultural inputs to evacuees for the establishment of communal gardens in evacuation sites, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment through the ‘Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvatanged/Displaced Workers” (TUPAD) project. Meanwhile, Kadiwa stores established near evacuation centers, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, farmers’ associations, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and local government units recorded total sales of PHP288,926. To date, there are no observed agricultural damage and losses due to the volcano’s continuing unrest. On the other hand, the DA has identified 26 animal evacuation or pooling sites outside the 6-km. radius Extended Danger Zone (EDZ). To date, 20 animal pooling sites are sheltering 1,120 cattle, carabaos, goats, and sheep evacuated from 467 farmers. The evacuation of animals is ongoing. For inquiries, the public may contact the DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center through these numbers: (02) 8929-0140 and 0966-798-7044. Meanwhile, the DA reminded the public of the prohibitions that are being implemented in the vicinity of the volcano. In the same bulletin, the DA said the entry into the 6-km. radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the flying of any aircraft close to the volcano is prohibited. ‘It is therefore recommended that the 6-km. radius PDZ be evacuated due to the danger of pyroclastic density currents (PDC), lava flows, rockfalls, and other volcanic hazards,’ it said. The bulletin was issued based on the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (DOST-Phivolcs) Mayon Volcano Bulletin issued at 8 a.m. on July 4, which put it at Alert Level 3. ‘(This) means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at crater and hazardous eruption within weeks or even days is possible,’ it said. ‘Increased vigilance against pyroclastic density currents, lahars, and sediment-laden stream flows along channels draining the edifice is also advised. Heavy rainfall could generate channel-confined lahars and sediment-laden stream flows in channels where PDC deposits were emplaced.’ Traces of ashfall were also seen in Guinobatan and Ligao City

Source: Philippines News Agency