Thousands flee, flights canceled amid Taal eruption


Posted at Jan 13 2020 11:54 PM

MANILA—Thousands of families fled to safety while hundreds of flights were canceled following the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Monday night.

Some 5,126 families or 21,945 persons were affected in Batangas and Cavite, the agency said in its 6 p.m. report.

Of which, some 4,175 or 18,187 persons were taking temporary shelter in 76 evacuation centers.

The volcanic ash from the Taal Volcano, the NDRRMC said, also canceled some 554 flights—318 domestic and 236 international flights.

Some 144 volcanic earthquakes had also been recorded since Taal Volcano began rumbling Sunday afternoon.

Forty-four of these earthquakes, the NDRRMC said, were felt with intensities ranging from 1 to 4 in Tagaytay City; Alitagtag, Lemery, Santo Tomas and Talisay, Batangas.

"Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity," the agency said.

Three road sections—Tanauan-Talisay-Tagaytay Road, Tagaytay-Taal Lake Road and Tagaytay-Talisay Road—were also closed to traffic due to the ashfall.

Seven cities and municipalities also experienced power interruption after the eruption. Amadeo and Tagaytay City in Cavite and Lipa City, Tanauan City, Laurel, Talisay and Lemery in Batangas were those affected.

The eruption also forced the cancelation of classes in 178 cities and municipalities in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and National Capital Region.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Calabarzon had delivered more than P300,000 worth of family food packs in Laurel, Batangas.

Some 5,000 family food packs will also be delivered to the different evacuation centers in Batangas, said Irene Dumlao, officer-in-charge of DSWD's social marketing service.