MANILA – The entire province of Batangas has been placed under a state of calamity following the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano.
The provincial board of Batangas passed a resolution during a special session to allow the provincial government to tap into calamity funds which it can use to assist those affected by the volcano’s unrest.
Vice Gov. Mark Leviste said the Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council has a fund amounting to P200 million and the provincial government has another P100 million for augmentation.
“We will be able to use the funds faster and more efficiently…because it does not have to pass through the usual bureaucratic process,” Leviste said in a press conference.
Earlier on Monday, the affected towns of Agoncillo and Balete declared a state of calamity in their respective areas. A total of 10,715 people are affected by the volcano’s imminent hazardous eruption.
The scope of areas reached by ashfall has diminished due to the reduction of the height of the eruption column spewede out by the volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.
“Mababa lang itong dalawang kilometro. Ibig sabihin, babagsak lang ‘yan sa ilang towns ng Batangasunlike noon Sunday one to 15 kilometers,” PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said.
“The distance that would be covered ng abo depends on the height of the ash column,” he added.
The eruptive activity of Taal Volcano started on Sunday afternoon and has also sent ash falling in nearby provinces – including parts of Metro Manila.
Taal is one of the shortest volcanoes in the world and is the second-most active volcano in the Philippines. Its last eruption was in 1977./PN