Philippines: UN helps local officials prepare for imminent eruption of volcano

21 December 2009
Mayon Volcano on September 23, 1984.

United Nations humanitarian officials are working with authorities in the Philippines to prepare for what scientists believe to be the imminent eruption of Mount Mayon, an active volcano within close reach of tens of thousands of people.

Stockpiles of supplies have been pre-positioned for the estimated 120,000 people living in the danger zone who are being evacuated, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

OCHA has already helped carry out an assessment last month in Albay province, where the Mayon volcano is situated, and is working with officials from the National Disaster Coordinating Council and the regional government, which have being organizing the evacuations.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are also working with local officials to provide targeted assistance to those in need once the volcano erupts.

Yesterday volcanologists and seismologists raised the alert level for Mount Mayon to level 4, which means an eruption is expected within hours to days.


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