COVID-19 test required for those visiting evacuation sites in Sorsogon from outside Bicol | Inquirer News

COVID-19 test required for those visiting evacuation sites in Sorsogon from outside Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY — The local government of Juban in Sorsogon would require persons coming from outside the Bicol region to present a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the designated evacuation centers of the families affected by the activity of Mount Bulusan.

Arian Aguallo, information officer of municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer (MDRRMO) in Juban, said they would require antigen test valid for 24 hours from the date or time of testing or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction valid for 72 hours from the date of testing.

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Arguallo said an updated COVID vaccine would also be needed.

“This is taking into consideration that most of the evacuees belong to the vulnerable population,” he said.

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Dr. Edric Vargas, in charge of the DRRM-Health section of the town’s rural health unit, said the town has zero record of COVID-19 cases for more than two months.

“[This is] to avoid spread of COVID. We usually overlook this in times of disaster but we should not be complacent since we are still in the pandemic,” Vargas said.

Vargas said that minimum health protocols are strictly observed in all evacuation centers.

Arguallo said at least 105 families or 340 individuals from Barangay Puting Sapa were housed at Juban Evacuation Center and gymnasium of the town after local officials ordered pre-emptive evacuation on Friday afternoon, June 10.

The rescue teams and vehicles were on standby to monitor the situation in the villages previously affected by the ashfall.

No ‘major eruption’

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that the seismic activity of the volcano shows that a major eruption is not expected at present but a phreatic eruption is still possible.

Phivolcs head and Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. said “there is no sign yet of magma involvement in the current activity.”

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“In Bulusan’s geologic history through its deposits, yes, with pyroclastic flow deposits. In its short recorded historical eruption, many of the events are phreatic eruptions,” he said in a private chat message.

In its 5 a.m. bulletin, Phivolcs has recorded 178 volcanic earthquakes in the last 24 hours, higher than the 149 volcanic earthquakes in the last monitoring period. Phivolcs said the volcano released 613 tons of sulfur dioxide, and its edifice was still inflated.

The plume from the volcano’s crater measured 150 meters tall.

Phivolcs raised the status of the volcano to alert level 1 after it spewed steam-rich gray plumes that rose about a kilometer on June 5.

READ: After Mt. Bulusan’s phreatic eruption, nearby residents told to prepare for possible evacuation

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TAGS: evacuation center, Mount Bulusan, Sorosogon
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