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9ID deploys TF Sagip as Mayon Volcano escalates to Alert Level 3

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur (PIA)— In response to the ongoing unrest of Mayon Volcano, the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division immediately mobilized Task Force Sagip (TF Sagip) on Thursday, June 8. The primary objective of this activation is to effectively respond to any emergent situations arising from the volcano's abnormal behavior.

In light of the heightened volcanic activity and the likelihood of an alert level increase from 3 to 4, Governor Edcel Lagman of Albay issued a directive for the pre-emptive evacuation of residents residing within the 6 km Permanent Danger Zone yesterday. The order aims to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected individuals in anticipation of potential risks.

Photo credits II PIA 5/Albay

The Spear Troopers will augment other agencies in rendering Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations, particularly in evacuating residents from the declared danger zones.

In a press statement, Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Chief Major German Franco Roldan said all members of the disaster response team from 9th ID’s various units, along with their assets, are getting ready to embark on their mission and provide aid to the affected communities.

903rd Brigade Commander BGen. Aldwine I Almase assured that his team is ready in case of any eventualities. He already conducted an inventory of personnel just in case additional manpower will be needed to augment responding personnel coming from other agencies.  

The 2nd District of Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate are under the jurisdiction of 903Bde.   

“The TF Sagip is also in close coordination with the Office of Civil Defense 5 (OCD5), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), and Local Government Agencies (LGAs) in Albay and nearby provinces which might be affected by the ongoing magmatic eruption of Mayon Volcano,” Roldan said. 

The 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB) has been deployed to the area to facilitate the mandatory evacuation of residents residing within the danger zone, which spans a radius of six to eight kilometers.

The 9th Civil Military Operations (9CMO) Battalion is currently coordinating and establishing alliances with various sectors of society, including the 504th Community Defense Center and the 5th Regional Community Defense Group. This collaboration aims to facilitate the potential mobilization of the reserve force, ensuring their readiness to support the ongoing efforts.

Joint Task Force Bicolandia and 9ID Commander MGen Adonis Bajao directed the SPEAR troopers to work closely with different government agencies, local government units, and non-government organizations to help the Bicolanos who will be affected by the volcanic eruption.

Photo creditsII 9ID DPAO, PA

“We will extend our help to the people of Albay and those communities that will be affected by the ongoing unrest of Mayon Volcano.  Rest assured that we will maximize all our available resources to assist and support our counterparts to help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster,”  MGen Bajao added.

Classes within the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) have been suspended today, particularly in Barangays Bañadero, Miisi, Budiao, and Matnog in Daraga, Albay pursuant to Daraga MDRRMC Advisory 004-2023.

Classes were also suspended in schools near the Mayon Unit. This includes Barangays Lidong, San Isidro, Fidel Surtida, Sta. Mercy and San Fernando, all in In the town of Sto. Domingo.

Governor Lagman also directed the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC-APSEMO) to remind the city, municipal, and barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices to be fully prepared, particularly in anticipation of the potential evacuation measures if Mayon Volcano's alert level is raised to Level 4.

As of 5:00 AM today, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has recorded over 199 rockfall events and 6 pyroclastic density currents (500-2000 meters travel from the crater); crater glow is visible and Sulfur Dioxide Flux (SO2) amounted to 332 tons on June 7, Wednesday.

PHIVOLCS also recorded an 800-meter high plume or steaming facing south and a ground deformation which indicates that the volcano is swelling.  (With reports from DPAO-9ID,PA/ PIA 5-Camarines Sur)

About the Author

Ana-liza Macatangay

Assistant Regional Head

Region 5

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