Muddy roads hamper Batangas town evacuation from Taal wrath


Posted at Jan 13 2020 08:01 AM

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Authorities in Lemery, Batangas scrambled Monday to move residents to safer ground as Taal Volcano in neighboring Cavite province remained on the brink of a possible hazardous eruption. 

Taal, a popular tourist attraction set in the center of a picturesque lake, spewed on Sunday ash that blanketed parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila. 

In Lemery, overnight rains mixed with the volcanic ash, coating roads in a thick layer of mud that made them slippery, said town councilor Lorenz Pesigan. 

"Sobrang dulas po ng aming kalsada sa kapal po ng putik na bumabalot po... Nahihirapan din po iyong mga rescuer, bumibigay na po iyong mga wiper ng sasakyan," he told radio DZMM. 

(Our roads are very slippery because the mud is thick. Our rescuers are also finding it difficult, the wiper of vehicles can't clear the mud off windshields.) 

Authorities, he said, would evacuate residents to nearby Sto. Tomas and Tanauan towns. 

As of 4:30 a.m., Taal spawned at least 75 earthquakes, a sign that magma is likely moving towards its crater, said Phivolcs volcano monitoring division chief Ma. Antonia Bornas. 

"Mayroon pa po tayong maaaring kinakaharap na mas hazardous po na eruption... Sa historical eruptions po ng Taal, pangkaraniwan po iyong climactic phase, itong pinakadulo po ng eruption, ito po iyong pinakamalala," she told radio DZMM. 

(We could still be facing a possibly more hazardous eruptions. Based on Taal's historical eruptions, the climactic phase towards the end is the worst.) 

DZMM, Jan. 13, 2020