Misery again for Philippine volcano ‘evacuees since birth’

Edna Orila has to sidestep human excrement as she looks for a space to sleep in the tiny schoolroom she shares with 55 other people seeking refuge from a spectacular — but dangerous — volcano in the Philippines. Nearly 80,000 people have been forced to leave their homes around the 2,460-metre (8,070-foot) volcano Rising majestically above the region, the perfect cone of Mayon has been generating giant cauliflower clouds of superheated ash and bursts of fireworks-like lava for nearly two weeks, with experts warning of more. A self-described “evacuee since birth”, Orila has fled the fury of the volcano more than a dozen times since she was born 53 years ago. She was only three years old when her parents first brought her to an evacuation centre during an eruption in 1968. It never gets any easier. “It’s gruelling here. We are crammed with strangers. There are children, there are elderly,” Orila said as she stood in the courtyard of a school in Guinobatan town, where evacuees’ washing hung on clothes lines. “There is a 93-year-old woman who removes her diaper at night and defecates in our room. I have to pass by her. But I try to understand because she is already old and sickly,” Orila sighed. Orila is one of 81,000 people who have been forced to leave their homes around the 2,460-metre (8,070-foot) mountain, which volcanologists say could blow its top — violently — any day now. But as a family of farmers, tilling the rich volcanic… [Read full story]

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