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File:Mayon volcano albay province.jpg

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Albay Province, Philippines

Mayon Elementary School evacuation center in Albay Province (December 18, 2009). Mount Mayon is in the background with steam rising from its crater.

USAID Improves Disaster Response in Communities Affected by the Eruption of Mount Mayon Volcano

The Mount Mayon volcano in the Philippines was elevated to alert level three in mid-December 2009, leading to the evacuation of 48,000 people. U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney announced the provision of U.S. Government assistance on December 29, resulting in a $50,000 humanitarian assistance grant to the Philippine National Red Cross. On January 2, the authorities downgraded Mount Mayon's threat due to lower gas emissions and fewer tremors, allowing nearly all the evacuees to return to their homes. USAID assistance contributed substantially to the successful management of the situation.

In February 2009, USAID completed a project which provided permanent housing for the relocation of 3,300 people from areas vulnerable to Mount Mayon's volcanic activity. This project began in 2007 during the aftermath of Typhoon Reming. Previous to Mount Mayon's eruption, USAID also improved local governments' disaster management plans, educated primary school students about disaster preparedness and response, and supplied equipment to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology which played a critical role in monitoring Mount Mayon's activity.

  • Mayon rises 2,462 m (8, 189 ft) above the Bicol Region of the Philippines and has a base circumference of 62.8km (40mi).
  • It is located right in the center of the Albay Province, 460km south of Manila. The Mayon is visible from nearly all cities and towns in the Albay Province. It is also visible from neighboring provinces.
  • Mayon is a stratovolcano known for its almost perfect symmetrical triangle shape. It is commonly referred to as one of the natural wonders of the world.
  • The upper slopes of the Mayon are steep, reaching up to 40° in angle.
  • The name Mayon is derived from the Bicolano word Magayon, which means "beautiful."
  • She is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines.
  • There are 49 eruptions since the first documented activity in 1616.
  • The worst recorded eruption occurred on February 1, 1814. Some 1,200 people from the nearby town of Cagsawa sought refuge inside the local church, but had lost their lives, as the whole town including the church was completely destroyed by the lava. Only the church tower remained standing.
  • To this day, the Cagsawa Ruins still stand upright as an eerie reminder of the power behind Mayon's beauty. (Click here for a historical picture of the Cagsawa church)
  • The Mayon has been restless since 1999, when it unexpectedly emitted a large plume of ash startling the local residents. A series of eruptions followed in 2000 and 2001. Prior to this, the last major eruption of the Mayon was in 1993, causing the death of 70 people and evacuation of 50,000 residents.

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current23:59, 16 May 2011Thumbnail for version as of 23:59, 16 May 2011613 × 272 (45 KB)Maletsky (talk | contribs)Category:Albay, Philippines Photo Gallery *Source: Mayon Elementary School evacuation center in Albay Province (December 18, 2009). Mount Mayon is in the background with steam rising from its crater. USAID Improves Disaste
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