2 die, 82K evacuated following Taal eruption | Inquirer News

2 die, 82K evacuated following Taal eruption

/ 05:46 AM January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Two people died of cardiac arrest while fleeing to safer ground following the eruption of Taal Volcano early this week, while more than 80,000 residents within the 14-kilometer radius permanent danger zone around the volcano had been evacuated to safety.

A report from the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office identified the fatalities from cardiac arrest as 65-year-old Anatalia Perez Dionisio, of Barangay Sampaloc, Talisay town, and 27-year-old Danilo Toledo of Barangay Laguile, Taal town, who died on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Brig. Gen. Marceliano Teofilo of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Group Taal told reporters on Wednesday that 18,664 families, or 82,000 people, were currently in evacuation centers.


Sneaking back

The evacuees are from the 12 towns within the danger zone, but an accurate number of how many more needed to be evacuated was difficult to establish, Teofilo said.


“The (residents) keep going back. All the while (when) we think nobody was left to evacuate, (it turns out) there were some who had managed to sneak back (despite) the security cordon,” he explained.

Teofilo said the priority for evacuation are people, but military trucks are sent back for the animals left behind.

Since the trucks don’t have animal enclosures, the livestock and pets are allowed on the vehicles with their owners, he added.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año tasked the Philippine National Police to prevent evacuees from returning to their homes on Volcano Island, which has been declared “strictly off limits” without clearance from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

BFP mobilized

The official also directed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to “mobilize all resources in aid of the road-clearing and cleaning operations … of ashfall and volcanic debris in all affected provinces.”

The BFP Calabarzon has deployed 147 firetrucks and 531 fire personnel as well as 39 emergency medical service personnel to affected areas.


The DILG chief said his agency’s field offices were closely monitoring the presence of local chief executives in the affected areas to ensure the enforcement of mandatory evacuation and the delivery of needed assistance to their constituents.

It would also ask local governments in Metro Manila for vehicles, breathing apparatuses and water purifiers that they could commit and donate to affected areas in Calabarzon.

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