Jan 13, 2020

As reported yesterday, Jan. 12, Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption (a steam-driven eruption in which water, steam, rock, and ash spew out of the volcano) that caused volcanic ash to fall all over nearby areas, even as far north as Quezon City, has displaced residents living in the surrounding areas and left many more bracing for the impact of a possible explosive eruption. 

Currently, the situation remains dire for evacuees, even those who have made their way to designated evacuation centers. Food and facemasks (remember to use N95 masks) are scarce, as many stores are either closed or have run out of stock. According to National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 7,742 individuals or 966 families are sheltered in 38 evacuation centers. The whole Batangas province has been placed under a state of calamity.

The volcanic ashfall (which is made up of volcanic glass, rock, minerals, and silica) still persists, but is minimal compared to yesterday’s. Phivolcs has also attributed 52 earthquakes in the Taal region to the eruption.

In response, schools and government work were suspended in NCR, Calabarzon, and Region 3.  The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has also advised private companies to suspend work, with labor secretary Silvestre Bello III saying, “employers in the private sector, shall, in the exercise of management prerogative and in coordination with the safety and health committee, or safety officer, or any other responsible company officer, suspend work to ensure the safety and health of their employees during natural or man-made calamity.”

Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Air Traffic Service initially suspended 172 flights since the ash cloud formed may negatively impact planes. However, they have since resumed partial operations, “prioritizing the departing flights so that NAIA ramps would be cleared of planes that were parked in the facility since Sunday night. The second priority will be given to regularly scheduled flights for Monday as this will give MIAA and CAAP better capability to allocate slots.”

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) have also suspended the dollar-peso spot trading due to the eruption, with BAP managing director Benjamin Castillo encouraging banks to “exercise management discretion to ensure the safety and welfare of their people during this emergency situation brought about by Taal Volcanic eruption.”

Meanwhile, according to Inquirer, the Department of Agriculture is still assessing the damage caused by the eruption to crops and livestock. As of now, no estimates have been posted. 

Two roads, namely the Tagaytay-Talisay Road and the Tagaytay Taal Lake Road, have also been closed to motorists. Ash (especially when made wet by rain) is extremely slippery, so this is a necessary precaution. Unfortunately, one road crash in Calamba, Laguna has already been attributed to the zero visibility caused by the ash.


Header photo courtesy of Phivocs 

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Read more:

Alert level 3 raised as Taal Volcano makes phreatic eruption. What does this mean?

Tips on how to deal with Taal Volcano’s ashfall

TAGS: ashfall nolisoli.ph suspension taal volcano taal volcano phreatic eruption