EU donates P42 million to families hit by Taal Volcano eruption

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2020 02:09 PM

Children watch a TV show inside one of the classrooms being used as an evacuation site in Barangay Bolbok Elementary School in Batangas City, Jan. 23, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The European Union (EU) has donated €750,000 or P42 million in humanitarian aid to those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

The funding, which is part of the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), is expected to benefit some 288,000 people displaced by the disaster, the EU Delegation in Manila said in a press release. 

“This contribution will support the local government of Batangas and our humanitarian partners on the ground in providing crucial support to those who have lost their shelters, belongings and sources of livelihood in the wake of the eruption of the Taal Volcano,” said Janez Lenarčič, EU commissioner for crisis management. 

“The EU stands ready to support the people of the Philippines and ensure affected people get protection and have enough means to survive through this difficult time and get back to their feet at the earliest possible," he said. 

As of Friday, some 63,000 people remain in evacuation centers, data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed.

The humanitarian assistance include emergency shelter and essential household items, such as mats, blankets, hygiene kits and access to clean water.

Psychosocial support services will also be provided, as well as child protection activities, the EU said.

The Taal Volcano in Batangas province erupted on Jan. 12, belching a towering plume of steam and ash into the air, with the gray shower reaching as far as Metro Manila.

Taal is among 24 active volcanoes in the Philippines, which lies along the geogically active Pacific Ring of Fire, making it prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

State seismology agency Phivolcs has lowered the danger level of the Taal Volcano to 3 out of a 5-level scale, which means that a sudden eruption, volcanic earthquake and ashfall can still occur within the volcano island and its environs.

It was under alert level 4 for two weeks, with Phivolcs warning a hazardous eruption could happen within hours or days.