MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) officials on Thursday reminded Filipino residents leaving near volcanoes on what to do before, during and after a volcanic eruption.
The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7100 islands. Most of these islands are of volcanic origin.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said there are 37 volcanoes in the Philippines, of which 18 are still active volcanoes.
The most known volcanoes in the Philippines are Mount Pinatubo, Mount Mayon and the Taal volcano. They are all located on the Northern island Luzon.
PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said before a volcanic eruption, residents should stay away from low areas where landslides may occur.
Pang said do not cut trees surrounding the volcano for these will serve as protection from the harmful effects of lahar.
“Build temporary but strong shelter or building. Always stand by for updates on volcanic eruption from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS),” Pang warned.
Also: Keep the first aid kit within easy reach; Make sure a vehicle can be used to evacuate.
During a Volcanic, this is what residents should do:
If ash fall occurs, evacuate people with lung diseases to a safer place. Cover your nose with a wet rag. Stay inside the house or evacuation center. Be cautious, alert and calm if you need to go out.
Stop driving when there is an ash fall as this may obstruct the view and cause accidents. If the erupting volcano is near the sea, stay away from the shore. A volcanic eruption can also cause tsunami.
For the local government: Strictly prohibit the people from going to areas near the volcanic eruption; Advise the people to stay in the evacuation center, especially those who have asthma, cough and other similar diseases.
After a volcanic eruption:back to your homes only if advised by the barangay captain, PHIVOLCS or your local disaster coordinating council.
The abovementioned guidelines cover the time before a volcanic eruption until it ceases.
These do not include preparation for long-term, harmful effects of volcanic deposits and lahar.areas and those near the rivers and streams may be prone to lahar.