Albay braces for potential lahar flow amid threats from Typhoon Tisoy

Marje Pelayo   •   December 2, 2019   •   1006

Albay residents evacuate to safety to get away from the threat of lahar that may be triggered by Typhoon Tisoy on December 1, 2019.

ALBAY, Philippines – The province’s Public Safety Management Office is bracing for possible lahar flow as heavy rainfall continues while Typhoon Tisoy nears landfall in the Bicol Region.

State weather bureau PAGASA has announced the landfall of Tisoy possibly tonight or tomorrow morning (December 3).

Evacuation efforts began on Sunday (December 1) in towns surrounding Mt. Mayon as residents feared a repeat of the disaster brought about by Typhoon Reming in 2006 where thousands of people died and several others remain missing.

In the town of Guinobatan, authorities escorted residents near the volcano’s river channel on board the trucks provided by the local government to evacuation centers.

The area is covered by the 7-km danger zone.

“Kahapon pa lang alam na namin na mag-e-evacuate kami ng linggo, (We were already informed yesterday that we have to evacuate Sunday),” explained Chairman Artemio Oxales of Barangay Maninila.

“Kaya kahapon pa lang nagpe-prepare na ang mga tao katulad ng ayusin nila ang mga bahay nila, itali. Ang iba, kung ano ang dapat gawin para maging safety, (Since yesterday, our people have already been preparing. Some started fixing their houses to ensure safety),” he added.

Several residents have decided to leave on their own.

“Nag-impake na po ng mga gamit ng mga pagkain na dadalhin doon sa evacuation (center). Ang mga bata mas priority na madala na kaagad sa mga evacuation,” said Russel Osorman, a resident of Guinobatan.

(I’ve finished packing our things and some food for our stay at the evacuation center. We prioritized bringing the children to the evacuation center.)

“Medyo nag-aalala po at may kalakasan daw po ang paparating na bagyo, (We’re a bit anxious because reports said the typhoon is strong),” he said.

“Wala pa pong signal number 1 pa lang pinapahanda na kami. Marami nang naghahakot na mga LGU at mga baranggay officials, (Even before the announcement of Signal No. 1, we were asked to prepare. Baranggay officials and staff were helping us),” noted another Guinobatan resident Beatriz Apuyan.

They are temporary staying at Guinobatan East Central School, one of the evacuation centers.

Aside from lahar flow, authorities also advised residents to take appropriate measures for possible flash floods, landslides and storm surges.

According to APSEMO Department Head Cedric Daep, they are constantly reminding the residents to prepare and be alert for the impact of the typhoon.

“Ang paghahanda sa bagyong Tisoy, dalawa ang paghahanda — government and family (Preparing for Typhoon Tisoy involves preparing government and family),” he said.

“Pero mas importante ang family preparedness kasi una naming pinakita sa kanila ano ba yung hazard na delikado sa kanila, (More important is family preparedness. We first educate them on the hazards that they might face ),” he added.

So far, around 15,000 residents were already evacuated ahead of Tisoy’s landfall in the Bicol Region.

The APSEMO and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured that relief items are in place and enough in number to provide the evacuees.

Among the areas under the authorities’ close watch in the region are the towns of Legazpi, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and Tiwi. — MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

DENR finds violations in 14 quarry operations in Albay

Marje Pelayo   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found violations in 14 quarry operations in the province of Albay. 

This prompted the Department to suspend the operations of the said quarry sites located at the foot of Mount Mayon.

Among the notable violations is operating beyond the authorized area, according to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones.

“Ang paglabag na nakita namin doon ay iyong nag-exceed doon sa kanilang allowable area at iyong mga iba naman mga expired permits (We found some violations such as exceeding beyond the allowable area while some still operate despite expired permit),” Leones said.

The official noted that the companies operating the quarry sites may face administrative cases and a fine of P50,000 per violation.

It is also possible that they may be permanently closed if proven to have a history of successive violations. 

Leones said these quarrying operations could have contributed to the damaging lahar flow in San Francisco, Guinobatan in Albay during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly.

Hundreds of houses and properties were seen covered with lahar after the typhoon.

Leones stressed that affected residents may sue the companies for compensation for the damage they have caused. 

Around 100 quarry operations are now under investigation by the DENR and those that have been cleared of violations will be allowed to resume operation, Leones said.

Meanwhile, the Triple B — Build, Back, Better— Task Force formed by President Rodrigo Duterte is currently conducting post-typhoon assessment in areas damaged by the recent calamities.

The task force formed through Executive Order 120 is composed of different agencies led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Leones said the task force will meet on Friday (November 27) to discuss recommendations on how to rehabilitate the typhoon-ravaged areas specifically Cagayan, Isabela, Bicol and Marikina. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

300 families in Albay evacuated due to possible Ulysses-induced lahar flow

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Around 300 families were evacuated in Guinobatan, Albay due to possible lahar flow that may be triggered by Typhoon Ulysses.

Families from Purok 6 and 7 of Barangay San Francisco in Guinobatan, Albay are currently staying at Mauraro National High School. Barangay San Francisco is among the areas heavily devastated by the lahar flow caused by Typhoon Rolly.

They were previously evacuated to Marcial O. Rañola Memory School during Typhoon Rolly but had to transfer to a different evacuation center after the area was also affected by lahar.

Several of the residents have been staying in evacuation centers for two weeks. One of the evacuees, Joan Berco, said she prefers to stay somewhere safe.

“Inilikas kami dito para maiwasan namin iyong tubig, tapos marami pang disgrasya sa amin doon kapag nandun kami (We were evacuated here to avoid the water and there will be more threat if we stayed at home),” she said.

The local government unit (LGU) assured there are enough relief goods for the families staying in evacuation centers. Meanwhile, residents in Camalig, Albay were also evacuated to safer facilities. AAC (with reports from Allan Manansala)

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Mga naapektuhan ng bagyong Rolly sa Camalig, Albay umaapela ng ayuda

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2020

Humihingi ng dagdag na ayuda ang ilang residente sa bayan ng Camalig, Albay na lubhang naapektuhan ng bagyong Rolly.

Ayon kay Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr., pagkain at materyales sa pagpapatayo ng bahay ang pangunahing hinihiling ng mga residente na nawalan ng mga bahay sa pagragasa ng lahar noong kasagsagan ng pananalasa ng bagyo.

Ang mga apektadong pamilya ay mula sa Purok 6 at 7 ng Barangay San Francisco sa bayan ng Guinobatan at Barangay Ilawod sa bayan ng Camalig.

Halos 100 pamilya ang nawalan ng bahay matapos itong sirain at tabunan ng makapal na buhangin at lahar.

“Kasi yung mga natanggalan ng bubong, yung totally damaged, talagang kailangan ng housing materials, initially yun,” ang pahayag ni Baldo.

“Yung tubig naman kasi restored na yun ng water district namin. Kahit papaano ay ginagawa na rin ng water district yung sa tubig. Pero kung may maglalagay ng pwedeng mag-filter ng tubig na pwedeng gamitin na maiinom ng ating mga residente welcome din po yun,” dagdag pa niya.

Nanawagan rin ang alkalde sa mga grupong nais magbigay ng tulong sa mga biktima ng kalamidad na makipag-ugnayan sa mga otoridad para sa kaayusan ng pamamahagi. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Allan Manansala)

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