OVER 22,000 families in several areas in Legazpi, Albay have been affected by the continuous phreatic eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

As of January 26, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said some 18,365 families or 69,672 persons are staying in designated evacuation centers while others are staying with their relatives or have built temporary shelters outside the danger zone

The council said the affected families were from the municipalities of Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo and the cities of Ligao, Tabaco and Legazpi which are situated in the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone and 8-kilometer extended danger zone.

The NDRRMC said the government has provided assistance including food and non-food items worth P40,116,833.88.

However, Romina Marasigan, NDRRMC spokesperson ensured that the government has enough supplies for the affected families.

Aside from the relief items pre-positioned in the regional officer, she said they are still loading some 7,400 family food packs at the trucks provided by the Department of Public Works and Highways and Philippine Coast Guard which are responsible for the transportation of the good.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army ensured the troops particularly from the 9th Infantry Division are actively responding to the needs of the communities affected particularly in the conduct of humanitarian response and risk reduction operations.

Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Louie Villanueva said they are also providing assistance in the packing of the relief goods prior to the distribution to the displaced families.

“The Army troops have provided assistance to the local government units in the evacuation of affected residents in the danger zone and the delivery of relief goods to the evacuation centers in Albay,” he said.

“Our troops are always ready to conduct humanitarian assistance and disasters response in times of calamities like this. Right now the Army is still in close coordination with the Local Government Units in Albay, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office for constant updates in case there is a need for more response operations,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)