President Arroyo is monitoring developments in Albay and the possible eruption of Mayon volcano from Hong Kong where she is spending a three-day vacation with her family, her spokesman said yesterday.
“Although she’s on vacation, as usual she’s on top of major concerns in the country and what’s going on in Mayon volcano,” said presidential economic spokesman Gary Olivar, adding authorities have put in place a “high-level of preparation and readiness” after the alert level for Mayon was raised to 4.
The First Couple, along with their grandchildren, left for Hong Kong on Sunday for a private vacation. Mrs. Arroyo is expected to be back tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Albay provincial health office has already been coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) to meet the immediate health needs in the evacuation centers. The World Health Organization (WHO) has pre-positioned Emergency Health Kits containing essential medicine and supplies for Albay residents.
The frequent ash explosions in Albay are a health threat to the residents. Exposure to ash is harmful especially for infants, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema and other chronic lung diseases. Aside from that, crystalline silica in ash particles may cause a respiratory disease called silicosis.
People are encouraged to wear face masks to prevent excessive inhalation of ash particles.