By Hader Glang
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (AA) - Philippine authorities say almost 2,000 people are suffering from acute respiratory infection due to Mt. Mayon volcano's torrent of ash, lava, and volcanic rock particles.
In a statement on Sunday, Ricardo Jalad, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that the number of Albay residents hit by disease due to ashfall from Mt. Mayon has almost quadrupled, from 516 to 1,972.
Based on council data, most of these people struck by respiratory infection showed signs of fever and hypertension.
The agency also reported the ash, lava and pyroclastic materials spewed by the volcano over the past two weeks have damaged 189.4 million Philippines pesos ($3.72 million) worth of crops in the Albay province, including rice, corn, and abaca.
Since Sunday, nearly 23,000 families or 89,000 people were affected in 59 villages in Albay by the volcano.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported that it recorded three eruptions overnight, and it warned of the flow of lahar -- a rocky water sludge -- as Mayon continues its heightened activity.