At eruption alert level 3, magma has reached the crater of Philippine Volcano Mayon, hazardous eruption is possible within weeks, and people and animals from the area are being evacuated by up to five miles.
Following a 13 hour trip, Network For Animals' Emergency Response team arrived in Albay on Thursday 9th October around midnight. Their first destination was Tabaco, the only dedicated emergency animal shelter in the area. Here we distributed dog food, encouraged and assisted people to bring animals to the shelter, and helped relocate larger animals out of the likely eruption area.
Network For Animals are now coordinating with the city government and individual municipalities for dog shelters to be provided near to human evacuation centers. Our next destination is the municipality of Malilipot, where there is currently only a temporary shelter for animals, and the situation may be less controlled.
Update 17 October: Seismology officials 'Philvolcs' are now considering raising the alert level to 4: Hazardous Eruption Imminent.
Our disaster relief team have appeared on prime-time Philippines TV to urge locals to move their animals out of the disaster area. Unfortunately, because facilities are simply not adequate at emergency shelters to cater for the number of animals around the volcano, many locals currently spend their nights in shelters, then return home to tend their dogs, chickens, goats and cows during the day,
Our team are currently working to maximise the use of the available shelters, to make transport available to local people and animals, and to vaccinate dogs against rabies which poses an increased risk of spreading in emergency situations such as this.
Update 22 October: Situation now settling, majority of team withdrawing
As the situation around Mayon has now stabilised to a large degree, we have downgraded our emergency response, but are keeping a team member onsite to liaise with the local government and our partners in the PSPCA.
Our team have been able to vaccinate 149 dogs against rabies, move 75 large and many small animals to save haven, and employ more than 30 local farmers to manually harvest food for local animal centers.