Bicol, Philippines: On January 22, Mayon Volcano in the province of Albay in the Philippines erupted with heavy ashfall.

Around 80,000 people or 20,000 families living near the Philippines’ most active volcano were pre-emptively evacuated after lava and ashes came out of the crater. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology have recorded 152 lava fountaining events since the first day of its eruption.

Aside from this, the eruption has destroyed 185 million pesos in crops, affecting at least 9, 791 farmers and around 7,131 hectares of land.

In the midst of this tragic event, the Church of the Nazarene in the Bicol District through the Nazarene Disaster Response and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries continue to be in the frontline by helping provide assistance to 5 evacuation centers around the city, giving away 2,000 Crisis Care Kits (CCKs) to 2,000 families.  Field Strategy Coordinator Stephen Gualberto of Philippine Micronesia Field and NCM Field Coordinator Leody Echavez III led the district in this response, with the local church in Legazpi City serving as the Command Center.

 

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Because of severe ash falls particularly in the municipalities of Ginobotan, Camalig, and Ligao, many people especially children are at risk of inhaling ashes.  There is an increased need for relief goods and health-related supplies like dust masks and medicines to help the people in the evacuation center.  The government estimated the volcanic activity may last up to 4 months or until the volcano remains active.

The Church of the Nazarene in Bicol continues to plan and prepare for this situation.  Nazarene Disaster Response is conducting training and orientation on Child Protection Policy and establishment of Nazarene Safe Places for children. These Child-Friendly Spaces will be set up in the different evacuation centers where the church responds. The church is also working closely with local and provincial government in the monitoring of the situation and the needs of the displaced families.

Please pray:

  • For the people and families affected by this disaster.
  • For the health of the children who are in the evacuation centers.
  • For the Church in Bicol District as they respond to the needs of the affected families.
  • For the physical and emotional strength of our volunteers.  Pray that God will use them to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this difficult time.
  • For the God’s provision on the needs of the people.  Let’s pray that the church will unite to give to the needs of those who were affected.