Left Menu
Development News Edition

Philippines: Thousands refuse to evacuate even as Taal volcano roars


Philippines: Thousands refuse to evacuate even as Taal volcano roars
Image Credit: Twitter (@phivolcs_dost)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Thousands of Filipinos are refusing to leave the regions near Taal Volcano which could erupt violently at any moment.
  • Officially, 38,200 have now been evacuated but local officials complain that many others are refusing to leave.
  • A cloud of ash and fountains of lava is gushing for the third day from the crater of Taal volcano.

Nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated from near a Philippine volcano that could erupt violently at any moment, authorities said on Tuesday, but thousands more are refusing to leave or have already drifted back.

A cloud of ash and fountains of lava gushed for a third day from the crater of Taal, which lies in the middle of a lake about 70 km (45 miles) south of the center of the Philippines capital Manila.

Everyone living within 14 km (9 miles) of the volcano has been ordered to leave: potentially as many as 300,000 people, though disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal said he believed the actual number who had been there was much lower.

Officially, 38,200 have now been evacuated, the agency said. Local officials complained that many others were complicating the evacuation effort by staying put.

I had to put Talisay under lockdown to prevent residents, who were already in the evacuation centers from returning. They wanted to check their homes, possessions, and animals, but they're not supposed to do that because it is very dangerous.

Gerry Natanauan, Mayor

Although Taal is one of the world's smallest active volcanoes, it has a deadly history: an eruption in 1911 killed more than 1,300 people. Several new fissures have opened, emitting plumes of steam, while dozens of tremors were felt as far as in Tagaytay city, a popular tourist destination 32 km (20 miles) away.

RISK OF DEVASTATION

If an eruption happened, nobody would be able to return to their homes because they would be devastated, said Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs).

"The threat is really real," he told a media briefing. However, many refused to heed the warnings.

In part of Balete town, which sits on the edge of the danger zone, Red Cross trucks were sent to bring out 1,000 residents, but they left with only 130 because people thought they were far enough from the volcano, local authorities said. No casualties have been reported so far, and seismologists said there was a chance this eruption could subside, but the signs still point to an imminent explosion.

Visiting the area on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte joked that the government could try a traditional way to calm the volcano down.

"You should go there and, you know, say a little prayer and offer something. Let's go by the primitive way of doing it just like what our forefathers would do," he was quoted as saying by the Inquirer.net website.

Taal has erupted more than 30 times in the past five centuries, most recently in 1977. A 1754 eruption lasted for months. The Philippines lies on the "Ring of Fire" , a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is also prone to earthquakes.

In Manila, government offices reopened on Tuesday after being closed on Monday because of a fine layer of ash that drifted from the volcano, but schools remained shut and many people still wore face masks.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

SDG2030: Challenges of technological applications in advancing Global Goals

Application of contemporary and future information technologies may go milestones in advancing sustainable development goals SDGs provided the challenges are overcome and implementation is ensured....

Videos

Latest News

Science News Roundup: SpaceX says 'picture perfect' test paves way for human mission

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.SpaceX says picture perfect test paves way for human missionElon Musks SpaceX simulated a successful emergency landing on Sunday in a dramatic test of a crucial abort system on an unmann...

Porzingis close as Mavs get set to face Clippers

After missing 10 games with right knee soreness, Kristaps Porzingis could return Tuesday when the Dallas Mavericks host the Los Angeles Clippers. The way Im feeling, I dont see why there should be any hurdles, said Porzingis after participa...

War crimes, not genocide committed against Rohingya: Myanmar probe

A Myanmar-appointed panel concluded Monday that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against its Rohingya Muslim community but the military was not guilty of genocide, findings swiftly condemned by rights groups. The Independent Commis...

Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Parents think teens spend too much time playing video gamesMost American parents think their teens spend too much time playing video games, but many of them also believe this is typical ...

Give Feedback