Taal ash wilts 'almost all' of Batangas town's crops - mayor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2020 10:40 AM

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Almost all the crops of Lemery, Batangas is set to go to waste due to ash from the grumbling Taal Volcano, the town's mayor said Wednesday. 

Taal, set in the center of a picturesque lake south of the capital, belched Sunday a giant ash cloud that coated parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila. In some areas, roofs and tree branches fell under the weight of the volcanic debris that mixed with rains.

"Wala na po, almost lahat po ng mga pananim dito, hindi na po maaani," Lemery Mayor Larry Alilio said of his town's corn, fruit and vegetable crops. 

There are also no available vehicles to evacuate the livestock of local hog and poultry raisers, he said. 

In neighboring Laurel, the ash killed tilapia in fishponds, a top source of livelihood of the town, said Mayor Joan Amo. 

Across Calabarzon region, the volcano's unrest left P577.4 million in initial damage to agriculture, including some 2,700 hectares of farmland and almost 2,000 animals, said the Department of Agriculture. 

Authorities had blocked parts of Lemery and Laurel to prevent residents from going back to their homes near the volcano, said Alilio and Amo. 

The volcano remains under the second highest danger level, which means a "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," said Phivolcs. 

DZMM, Jan. 15, 2020