MANILA – A total of 791 families, or 3,011 individuals, have been evacuated from four towns in Batangas province due to the rumblings of Taal Volcano.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) deputy spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal, in a message to reporters on Saturday, said 11 evacuation centers have 376 families, or 1,554 persons, while another 415 families composed of 1,457 individuals chose to stay with their relatives or friends as of 11 a.m.
"The running data submitted by the OCD (Office of Civil Defense) Calabarzon showed 791 families have been evacuated from barangays in the municipalities of Agoncillo, Laurel, San Nicolas, and Lemery," Timbal said.
The NDRRMC is also examining the possible impact of inclement weather in the operations so that advance deliveries of supplies, preparation of more evacuation centers, and deployment of more manpower can be done, he added.
Taal Volcano remained on Alert Level 3 as of the 3 p.m. bulletin of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Saturday.
“The public is reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone and entry into the island as well as into the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur,” Phivolcs warned.
Communities around the Taal Lake shores were advised to take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog (volcanic smog) and prepare for possible evacuation, if they still haven’t, should unrest intensify.
Timbal also said the NDRRMC and RDRRMC Calabarzon are committed to assist local government units (LGUs) and affected communities by ensuring the supply of food and other necessities as well the enforcement of Covid-19 safety protocols.
The Philippine National Police will assist in reminding evacuees about the need to wear masks and observe social distancing.
The Department of Agriculture DRRM team also announced the activation of animal and livestock rescue centers where farmers can bring their cattle and other farm animals for safekeeping.
LGUs still have enough food in their stockpiles but augmentation supplies will be sent by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Health to bridge the gaps. (PNA)