The eruption of Mayon Volcano has severely affected the mental and physical well-being of over 22,000 students in Albay, who were compelled to evacuate their homes, according to an announcement by Save the Children Philippines on June 24, 2023.
The eruption of Mayon Volcano has caused significant disruption in the lives of tens of thousands of students in Albay. The daily routines of more than 22 000 students from the Albay, Ligao, and Tabaco school divisions have been upended as the volcano continues to spew lava and debris, triggering rockfalls and earthquakes.
Save the Children Philippines, an advocacy group, highlighted that the majority of the 28 emergency shelters are elementary and high school campuses, leading to a significant disruption in the education of these children. Many of the displaced students have been forced to attend classes in chapels, tents, and even under trees, according to earlier reports by government officials.
Despite these challenging circumstances, modular instruction is being implemented, and classes will continue until the end of the academic year in July. However, the conditions in the cramped and unsanitary evacuation centers are causing psychological distress among the children.
“Children are most vulnerable in disasters. Their world has been upended, their sense of stability shattered. Children are experiencing difficulty sleeping due to worries and fears. They are also suffering from respiratory illnesses,” said Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines.
Muyot emphasized the need for specific support for children, balancing their immediate requirements with recognizing their long-term needs. The organization is working to establish temporary schools to provide a sense of normalcy and hope.
In addition to this, Save the Children Philippines is providing psychosocial support through art intervention activities in three evacuation centers in Camalig town.
The Mayon Volcano has been under alert Level 3 (increased tendency towards hazardous eruption) due to the continuous increase in its rockfall events. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported an increase in shallow volcanic earthquakes since June 24, 2023.
The increased seismicity was accompanied by “a noticeable sharp jump in ground tilt on the southwest sector of the edifice that began on June 25, 2023.” At present, the steady-rate lava effusion from the summit crater and sporadic generation of rockfall and pyroclastic density currents or PDCs still persist.
1 Mayon eruption impacts well-being of thousands of kids in Albay – group – PhilStar – June 25, 2023
Featured image: Mayon volcano on June 23, 2023. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, EO Browser, The Watchers
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