LEGAZPI CITY: After ensuring the safety of 45,599 people living in the six- to eight-kilometers danger zone, the provincial government of Albay will evacuate 19,031 livestock and pets to ensure their safety from volcanic ashfall should Mayon volcano erupt.
Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay first ordered the forced evacuation of people living within the danger zone to ensure that there will be no casualty in case Mayon erupts.
Task Force Mayon composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippine, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Animal Industry will spearhead the evacuation of livestock and pets, and ensure their proper handling.
“Ergo, the goal is zero casualty. Given the foregoing, the imperative there is traffic management for the PNP to establish a detachment and for the army to conduct rounds in the six- to eight-kilometer extended high risk zone,” Salceda said.
Dr. Antonio Basanta, provincial veterinarian chief of Albay, said the evacuation of livestock and pets will be done on Monday.
“We’re asking 5,809 farmers in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto. Domingo, Malilipot and the three cities of Ligao, Legazpi and Tabaco to bring down their cattle, carabao, goat, sheep, swine and dogs to identified holding centers in respective towns so we could transport their livestock to animal shelters,” Basanta told The Manila Times.
He said the animal shelters are located at San Andres in Sto. Domingo; Philippine Coconut Authority and Development Bank of the Philippines areas at barangay Banao in Guinobatan; Department of Agriculture-Albay Breeding Center in Cabangan; Camalig, Amtic Area in Ligao; Malabog and Lacag in Daraga; Taysan in Legazpi; San Vicente in Tabaco City; LPPTC Paraputo in Malinao town; and San Isidro Ilawod in Malilipot town.
Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office, said the provincial government will spend at least P20 million to safeguard the livestock and pets for a period of 90 days.
Basanta said the provincial government will conduct massive vaccination and de-worming, and provide vitamins for livestock and pets to prevent the outbreak of diseases.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is continuously monitoring the abnormal activity of Mayon volcano.
Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded 22 volcanic earthquakes and 70 rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.
But rain clouds covered the summit and prevented visual observation.
Sulfur dioxide flux was measured at an average of 757 tons per day on Wednesday, but SO2 emission rates peaked at 2,360 tons per day on September 6, 2014.
“All the above data indicate that the volcano is exhibiting relatively high unrest due to the movement of potentially eruptible magma. This means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks,” Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist chief in Bicol, said.
RHAYDZ B. BARCIA