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More than 3,000 Batangas residents evacuated due to Taal Volcano unrest —PDRRMO

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More than 3,000 individuals or 1,000 families have been evacuated from their homes in Batangas as of Sunday due to the unrest of Taal Volcano, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said.

“As of 5 a.m., mayroon tayong 1,000 pamilya at mahigit 3,000 indibidwal na inilikas at posible pa itong madagdagan,” Batangas PDRRMO head Joselito Castro said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

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(As of 5 a.m., we have 1,000 families and more than 3,000 individuals who were evacuated, and this number may still increase.)

Castro said 12 municipalities have evacuation centers ready to temporarily house affected residents.

He added that some evacuees stayed at relatives’ houses.

“Mahigit 400 pamilya na lumikas ang wala sa evacuation center at nakikitira sa kanilang mga kaanak,” he said.

(More than 400 families who evacuated are not staying at evacuation centers since they sought shelter at relatives’ houses.)

Castro added that Cavite, Laguna and Quezon also have evacuation centers that are ready to accept evacuees from Batangas.

Meanwhile, the government has already sent family food packs and family tents for affected residents staying at evacuation centers, he said.

P10-M financial assistance

The provincial government has already asked the national government for P10 million worth of financial assistance,” Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste said Sunday in a separate interview on Dobol B TV.

“Maaga pa lamang ay nakatutok na tayo sa sitwasyon sa Bulkang Taal… P10-M worth of financial assistance ang hiningi ng provincial government,” Leviste said.

(Early on we were already monitoring the situation at Taal Volcano… The provincial government asked for P10 million worth of financial assistance.)

Leviste said hygiene kits are very much needed at evacuation centers. Some kits were already sent to the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel.

He added that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has already sent 200 tents, and 300 more are expected to be delivered.

There are also mobile kitchens ready at evacuation centers, Leviste said.

With regards to preventing the transmission of COVID-19, Leviste said that in Laurel, an evacuation center houses only residents from one barangay to facilitate contact tracing if needed. 

The national government has also sent antigen test kits to be used in monitoring the health of evacuees, Leviste said.

The vice governor added that assets and resources of the provincial government are on standby and ready to be used.

“Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pamamahagi ng ayuda sa mga residente sa Batangas na apektado ng pag-aalburoto ng Bulkang Taal at COVID-19 pandemic,” Leviste said.

(The giving of financial assistance to residents affected by the Taal Volcano unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic continues.)

Leviste said the province is also monitoring the weather.

“Maliban sa pandemya, may masamang panahon sa aming lugar. Halos araw-araw, umuulan bago pa man mag-alburoto ang bulkan,” he said.

(Aside from the pandemic, we have bad weather. Almost every day, it has been raining even before the volcano erupted.)

Leviste appealed to the public not to visit the province yet if there is no important reason.

“Iwasan muna ang pagpunta sa Batangas kung hindi naman mahalaga ang lakad…Kahapon naitala ang pinakamataas na sukat ng sulfur dioxide emission sa Bulkang Taal. Maaari itong maging sanhi ng ubo at sipon o karamdaman lalo na sa mga nakapaligid sa Bulkang Taal,” the vice governor said.

(Avoid going to Batangas if the trip is not that important… Yesterday the sulfur dioxide emission from Taal Volcano was at its highest. This may cause cough, cold or illness especially among those staying near Taal Volcano.)

Taal Volcano erupted on Thursday afternoon, giving rise to a kilometer-high phreatomagmatic plume. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the Alert Level from 2 to 3.

On Sunday, Taal Volcano continued to emit high levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 as it remained under Alert Level 3 status.

In its 8 a.m. Taal Volcano bulletin, PHIVOLCS reported that the Taal Main Crater generated as much as 2,500 meters of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes in the past 24 hours. —KG, GMA News

Read more, click here: GMA News

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