100,000 residents evacuated in Albay due to ‘Tisoy’
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines — Disaster authorities started on Sunday afternoon to evacuate over 100,000 individuals living in lahar-prone areas in the province in anticipation of heavy rainfall due to Typhoon Tisoy, which is expected to hit Bicol on Monday, the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said on Sunday.
At the PDRRMC meeting, Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara directed the local disaster councils to start evacuation at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The process will continue until 1 p.m. Monday.
According to Bichara, the directive calls for a mandatory evacuation of all residents living in low-lying areas, especially those along river channels that connect to the slopes of Mount Mayon where huge volumes of lahar are deposited.
“We have to evacuate them and for those who are stubborn, I have directed the police to forcibly bring them to the nearest evacuation camps,” he said.
Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (APSEMO), explained that over 19 million cubic meters of lahar had been deposited in various slopes surrounding the 2,500-meter-high volcano.
“You can just imagine the impact and the force when intense rains induce these volcanic materials to cascade down, triggering a collapse or breached river channels, this happened during Super Typhoon Reming in 2006,” Daep said.
Thousands of villagers were killed and houses were destroyed and buried when lahar and mudflows swept villages in several towns and city’s around the volcano as Typhoon Reming, internationally known as Durian, battered the province in 2006.
According to APSEMO, 58,614 families or 307,493 persons living in 484 villages in the 15 towns and three cities are at risk due to flooding.
Of this figure, 25,770 families or 106,211 persons are at risk by lahar and mudflows from Mount Mayon.
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