Batangas town mayor appeals for food, water as evacuees flee Taal eruption

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2020 11:39 AM

TAGAYTAY CITY - The mayor of Sta. Teresita, Batangas on Monday urged the national government to send food and water as evacuees from nearby areas affected by the Taal volcano’s eruption continued to troop to their municipality.

The local government’s supply is only good for some 500 residents, but the number of evacuees has climbed to nearly a thousand, Sta. Teresita Mayor Norberto Segunial Jr told ABS-CBN News.

Most of the evacuees are from the Lemery, Agoncillo and San Nicolas, towns hardest hit by the volcano’s hours-long ash fall.

"Nag hapunan sila, nag almusal sila, kaya wala na po, naubos na agad. Very limited po ang resources namin,” the mayor said.

"Ang problema namin, we are holding a lot of people and we need help from the national government," he said.

Disaster officials and some local government units from Cavite have committed to send food packs to Sta. Teresita, said Senator Francis Tolentino, who headed an interagency coordination meeting in his hometown Tagaytay City.

Sta. Teresita officials are expected to declare a state of calamity soon to allow the local government to utilize its P4-million calamity funds, Segunial said.

The Taal volcano, the Philippines’ second most active volcano, began spewing ash Sunday afternoon. 

It spurted lava early Monday morning, shortly after officials placed it under alert level 4, the second highest in a 5-scale alert system, which means hazardous eruption is possible within days.