1,624 volcano evacuees down with respiratory illnesses in Philippines

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At least 1,624 people displaced by the unrest of the most active Mayon volcano in the Philippines have suffered from acute respiratory infections, the Philippines’ Department of Health said on Monday.

Health Undersecretary Enrique Tayag said health authorities in Albay province have reported that some people in temporary shelters have been sick with coughs, colds, and sore throats.

“There is an increasing cough, colds, and sore throats among the evacuees,” Tayag told a news conference. However, he added that there is no outbreak of respiratory infections in the evacuation centers.

Authorities have evacuated nearly 19,000 residents within the six-kilometer danger zone at the foot of the Mayon volcano, approximately 500 kilometers southeast of Manila, since its recent unrest starting on June 8.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology maintained the alert level around the Mayon volcano at 3 on a scale of 5.

The cone-shaped volcano continues to pose a threat to residents, preventing them from returning to their homes. Displaced people are temporarily housed in at least 27 government-run shelters.

“The volcano is currently in a relatively high level of unrest, and hazardous eruption within weeks or even days could still be possible,” volcanologists warned in an advisory on Monday.

Mayon volcano last erupted in 2018, resulting in the evacuation of more than 23,000 people from nine cities and municipalities.

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