(2018 photo from DSWD Region V FB account) 

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday said it started readying 3,000 family tents following the evacuation of an initial 26 families within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone of Mayon Volcano in Albay.

DSWD Bicol Regional Director Norman Laurio said the forced evacuation of 26 families from Sitio Nagsipit was facilitated by barangay officials of Mariroc and the Tabaco City government.

The affected residents are now being sheltered at the Pawa evacuation center.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday raised Mayon Volcano's alert level from 2 to 3 due to localized magmatic eruption.

Assistant Secretary Marlon Alagao of the DSWD Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) said the 3,000 family tents will be used by the projected 15,000 families living in the expanded 8-10 kilometer danger zone.

“The deployment of big family tents was specifically requested by Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine B. Rosal in case of evacuation since Legazpi barangays are located within the 8-10 kilometer danger zone,” Alagao said in a news release.

He said on top of the 54,000 family food packs (FFPs) already pre-positioned in Albay province, an additional 68,000 FFPs will be sent by the DSWD Central office based on the target of 102,000 FFPs for the province where Mt. Mayon is located.

In his Facebook post, Governor Edcel 'Grex' Lagman thanked DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian for providing Albay with all the needed food items prepositioned in the warehouse provided by the provincial government of Albay.

“I was also very happy when Secretary Rex informed me that Albay will receive 102,000 FFPs. Salamat po, (Thank you) Secretary Rex,” Lagman said.

Alagao said the evacuation centers are now being readied by the different local government units in Albay since they are the ones on the ground and they are in the position to determine how many centers will be on standby.

“Aside from the FFPs, the DSWD Central Office will also distribute non-food items such as kitchen kits and hygiene kits for families who will be sheltered in the tents and evacuation centers,” he said.

DSWD Field Office 5 has already conducted a drill for possible evacuation, provided Go Bags for the residents and coordinated with the possible evacuation sites. (PNA)