Taal evacuees near 4,000 mark – NDRRMC

Billows of smoke can be seen coming out of the Taal crater. (Photo by Bernard Testa/BusinessMirror)

The number of evacuees due to the latest eruption of Taal volcano is now nearing the 4,000 mark, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). 

In a televised interview on Tuesday, NDRRMC spokesperson Mark E. Timbal disclosed there are now 3,771 individuals from 1,142 families, who are now staying in 17 evacuation centers after the eruption resulted in some parts of Batangas being covered in volcanic ash. 

He said among affected local government units (LGU) are Agoncillo, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Talisay and San Luis. 

The number of evacuees could still increase as the NDRRMC are currently also trying to evacuate people from the five “high risk” barangays near Taal volcano namely, Bilibinwang, Banyaga, eastern sector of Bugaan East, Boso-boso, and Gulod.

“Local authorities continue to try to convince them to leave to ensure they remove all the people in the said areas,” Timbal said. 

He assured all of the evacuees are being provided with family food packs by the concerned local government units.

“The provincial government of Batangas is ready to provide augmentation supplies to the Regional Disaster Council and the National Disaster Council,” Timbal said.  

As of Tuesday, Taal Volcano remains active, registering eight volcanic earthquakes and producing plumes. 

Timbal said the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) would continue to closely monitor the activity of the volcano in the next two weeks to determine when it will be safe to allow the evacuated families to return to their homes.  -30-


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