Report and Disseminate the Information Regarding
the Serious Disaster
Mayon Volcanic Activity, Philippines
Source: Republic of the Philippines; Department of Agriculture (DA). The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
On 5 June 2023, the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS), a department of the Department of Science and Technology, raised the status alert level for Mayon Volcano in Albay Province, Region V (Bicol Region) from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 due to the repeated collapses of the growing summit dome of the volcano, which caused an increasing number and volume of rockfall events. The alert status of Mayon Volcano was raised to level 3 on 8 June with the occurrence of a total of 267 rockfall events and 2 volcanic earthquakes. Additionally, three Pyroclastic Density Current (PDC) events were observed on the Bonga (southeast) and Basud (east) Gullies.
The Albay Province Local Government declared a state of calamity for eight municipalities in the area on 9 June, indicating the severity of the situation and requesting urgent needs from the government to ensure the safety and welfare of those affected. The evacuations are being carried out for over 2,000 families or 10,578 people living within the 6 -kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) in coordination with local government units, national agencies, and non-government organizations. The government is also providing support in terms of relief goods, medical assistance, and transportation to evacuation centers.
As of 4 July 2023, Mayon Volcano remains at Alert Level 3, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption within weeks or even days is possible. A total of 9,776 families or 37,944 persons are affected. While there are no observed agricultural damages and losses (as of 5 July 2023). Furthermore, there are a total of 6,182 hectares of standing crops which includes rice (1,378 hectares), corn (1,125 hectares), vegetables (626 hectares), and fruits (3,053 hectares), that are at risk on the nine (9) C/MLGUs around Mt. Mayon. And a total of 52,626 animal heads in the affected area.
Regarding the countermeasures or policies to encounter the situation, the government provided a variety of intensive assistance to affected households. According to the situational report as of 4 July from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 108,890,812.74 PHP worth of food and non-food items and 3,036,047,354.49 PHP standby funds and prepositioned relief stockpile were provided. Furthermore, 47 Search, Rescue, and Retrieval (SRR) teams from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) are on standby.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) also undertook several actions to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected population and minimize the impact of the volcanic eruption. With this, the actions were undertaken as follows;
- The Department, through the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office V (DA RFO 5) activated its command center on 11 June 2023 located at the DA RFO 5 - ROS Albay Research Development Center at Camalig, Albay, with its Disaster Risk Reduction Unit (DRRU) monitoring the situation.
- Identification of twenty-six (26) animal evacuation/pooling sites outside the 6-kilometer radius Extended Danger Zone (EDZ). To date, there are twenty (20)animal pooling sites with 1,120animals (cattle, carabao, goat, sheep) evacuated from 467farmers. The evacuation of animals is still ongoing.
- Provision of 1,254,366PHP worth of drugs, biologics, and feeds 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.
- Distribution of 1,172,500PHP worth of agricultural inputs to evacuees for the establishment of communal gardens at evacuation sites in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through their “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers'' (TUPAD) project.
- Prepositioning of hauling trucks at Tabaco City and Camalig, Albay Research Outreach Stations.
Aside from these initiatives, farmers are also advised to harvest all crops that are harvestable with the assistance of nine Rice Combine Harvesters previously distributed by DA Bicol to farmers’ cooperatives and associations in Albay. Affected farmers are also suggested to avail of the services of the three Rice Processing Centers (RPC) established in Balinad and Balangibang in Polangui and Maporong, Oas, Albay.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is on the ground and has already conducted preparedness and coordination conferences with other government agencies including the Department of Health, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources due to Mayon’s rising alert levels and unrest.
In terms of international support, the following is the compiled list of received foreign aid from foreign governments, different embassies, and international organizations:
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government donated around 50,000 kilograms (50 metric tons) of food items such as rice, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, and sugar for the Mayon-affected families and individuals.
- The government of the People’s Republic of China donated 103,750 kilograms of rice and food items worth 4 million PHP such as fast noodles, biscuits, and flour to affected families.
- WHO donated the logistical support which was disseminated to the evacuation centers.
- UNICEF has strategically positioned emergency supplies to cater to the requirements of more than 10,000 families affected by the crisis. These supplies included a range of essential provisions, such as tents, educational resources for emergencies, hygiene kits promoting family well-being and dignity, water purification tablets, and ready-to-use therapeutic food. Moreover, UNICEF stands prepared to swiftly deploy these supplies and collaborate with partners to ensure their immediate distribution as needed.
Download a Word file, Click here ------------ > AFSIS Mayon Volcanic Activity in Philippines
On 19-20 September 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat attended the Satellite Applications for Societal Benefit Working Group (SAWG) which was a working group session of APRSAF-29 that was jointly organized by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) of Indonesia, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The APRSAF-29 was held in Jakarta, Indonesia this year.
According to the ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS), the southwest monsoon brings heavy rainfall over Lao PDR causing flooding and landslide incidents since 4 August 2023. Regarding the water level across Lao PDR, a warning has been issued since 1 August regarding water levels across Lao PDR.
On 31 August 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat with the collaboration of the Regional Office of Agricultural Economics 7 at Nongmuang District in Lopburi province and Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center attended the maize field trip in Nakhon Sawan provinces, Thailand.
On 29-30 August 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan held the Regional Workshop on the Strengthening ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) Function for Emergency (SAFER) at Novotel Sukhumvit 20 hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.