Taal Volcano Eruption
Updated: Apr 7
Last 12 January 2020, Taal Volcano unleashed a massive amount of ash across the province of Batangas. The eruption has caused incalculable devastation across the region, plunging a fourteen kilometer radius from the volcano into a state of emergency. This phreatic or steam-driven eruption altered over a million lives for the worst overnight.
We want to shed some light on the situation, and encourage you to help those who are very much in need, in any way that you can. Though the initial ash fall has subsided, Taal Volcano is still on Alert Level 4 to this day. The possibility of an even more destructive eruption still looms large.
The volcano is located sixty kilometers away from the capital of Manila, and was relatively docile in decades past. As early as March 2019 however, the volcano island was placed under an Alert Level 1 by PHIVOLCS. This most recent eruption caught many off guard, as it came with little warning, and didn't involve any release of magma. Though there were no immediate casualties, the devastation is still being felt from the sheer volume of ash that has choked off the surrounding towns, reaching farm areas in Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite. The environmental impact on the ecosystems in these areas has yet to be fully calculated. The estimated cost is running in the millions of pesos in crop damage alone. Local biodiversity has also been shocked, with thousands of animals succumbing to the ash fall.
Residents of the surrounding towns have since been evacuated, but sadly, a humanitarian crisis is still at hand. In terms of human impact, more than half a million people have been displaced, most evacuated to makeshift refugee centers. With another possibly more devastating eruption on the horizon, the situation is in constant flux. As local authorities establish some sense of normalcy, there is still so much uncertainty with how things will proceed from day to day. What is certain however is that those who once lived here will not return the same ever again.
EO Philippines is currently coordinating several relief efforts by partnering with community specialists Hands on Manila and The Ayala Foundation. Both organizations are currently working closely with local government units and emergency response teams in Taal. For more information, please connect directly with them through official channels.