LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – A mega tent city will be built in this city to decongest the evacuation camps hosting 22,000 families or 84,415 people since Mount Mayon erupted, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara said on Tuesday, January 30.
Bichara said Bicolano businessman Elizalde “Zaldy” S. Co, CEO of the Sunwest Group of Companies, offered the use of his land – around 40 hectares – to the provincial government for the construction of a tent city in Barangay Lamba as a temporary evacuation site for displaced families in Legazpi City.
“Zaldy offered his prime lot for free as temporary shelter of Mayon evacuees, that could accommodate 50,000 families," Bichara said.
He said that use of Co’s property, which already has water supply, would allow students to resume use of schools that have been used as evacuation centers.
"We are recommending to other local government units affected by the Mayon eruption to build a temporary tent city so the schools can be used by the students,” Bichara added.
Legazpi City has the biggest number of displaced families in Albay, with 4,074 families or 15,474 persons living within the 9-kilometer extended permanent danger zone.
Bichara said the provincial government will pattern the tent city in Legazpi to the one in made by evacuees in Sto Domingo town to prevent the spread of diseases among the evacuees and to improve sanitation.
Health authorities in Albay monitored at least 533 evacuees who had illnesses. The leading illnesses were cough and cold, respiratory infection, fever, hypertension, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, loose bowel movement, toothache, and skin diseases, and among others.
The Department of Health has given P4,358,904 worth of medicines for Mayon evacuees, according to director Napoleon Arevalo of DOH Bicol.
The eruption of Mayon, the country's most active volcano, has affected the cities of Legazpi, Ligao, and Tabaco and the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto Domingo, Bacacay and Malilipot.
The eruption has so far destroyed P105,701,466 worth of agricultural crops and P25,569,000 in livestock and poultry. – Rappler.com