Taal Volcano Eruption Causes Massive Destruction In The Philippines

A volcanic eruption has happened not too far away from us, with many of our neighbours being evacuated for safety.

taal valcano eruption caused massive destruction in the philippinesPhoto: The New York Times

The Taal Volcano in the district of Batangas, Luzon Island, Philippines, has been on Alert Level 4 since Sunday (19 Jan). Located about 50 kilometers south of Manila, the relatively small volcano is known for its volatility, having recorded 34 eruptions in the past.

On 12 January 2020, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) had issued the Alert Level 4 on Taal Volcano, indicating that hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days. Since then, the Philippines government has been conducting mass evacuations particularly for people within a 14 km radius of the Taal Lake.

There has been 632 earthquakes recorded, ranging in intensity from magnitude 1.2 to 4.1.

According to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC), over 17,555 families or 77,438 persons are reported as being displaced. 283 Evacuation Centres was opened within hours, while the province of Batangas has declared a State of Calamity. The public has also been warned to stay alert against effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.

In response to these earthquakes, MERCY Malaysia will be deploying a 4-man team to provide humanitarian assistance starting today.

“Our team will meet with the relevant authorities and establish base camp within 48-hours. Following that, we will begin distributions of relief aid items to the people affected by the volcano eruption. At the moment, the most critical needs are jerry cans, food supplies, N95 masks and hygiene items, as people had to evacuate in a hurry,” says Ir. Amran Mahzan, Executive Director of MERCY Malaysia.

“We appeal for donations from caring Malaysians to help our neighbours in the Philippines,” adds Ir Amran.

Donations can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or Philippines Relief Fund on Malaysia’s website www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.

By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya