THE Taal Volcano suddenly erupted on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, spewing thick ashes into the atmosphere that suddenly fell into its neighboring communities. The ash-fall covered almost everything in the land, the greens, roofs, roads, and even the poor animals. It also threatened the lives of our kababayans through the air that they breathe. It is indeed a Disaster.
I remembered when I was younger when Mt Pinatubo in Zambales erupted. The ashes reached our backyard at Ambangeg, Bokod, Benguet. My dad had a sayote plant at that time where its leaves were covered by ash. We need to wash them so they won’t die. This experience now made my thought that the possibility of Taal Volcano’s ash to reach me is real. Hazard is coming, so I need to be ready with my dust mask soon.
I have written a lot of stories already in this column regarding hazards, risks, and disasters. Today, I would just like to remind everyone now, as I always say, that the history of any disaster, just like my experience, should always be taken into consideration. I am not saying that they haven't done it in the Taal volcano eruption preparation because there’s a lot of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) officers there. The thing is, we want the people within any hazard area to be aware and be prepared too. We may not have an active volcano in our place, but then, hazards are just everywhere.
La Trinidad’s Disaster history, for instance, helped our Disaster Risk Reduction and Management initiate programs to improve the way how hazards should be handled. We are all living in this mountainous Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). We all know that Landslide is possible in that the majority of our lands and it happens over and over again, and it’s history. Thus, we have to do something about it, knowing when and where does it usually occur, and save lives rather than just wait.
But the most important thing is for you to do this at home too. I did it when I heard about Taal Volcano’s Eruption, so I prepared my dust mask. The principle is; Simple things that harmed you before should not do the same damage to you in the future. We always fix those drips from our roofs, for example, so it won’t happen again. Carry the attitude in your backyard, to your town, and we sure can have a disaster-resilient community. Very common (sense), but not all do it.
And when both the DRRM of the locality and the people do prevention and mitigation actions based on the history of their places, the goal of Zero Casualty when there is a hazard should be easily achieved. Disasters will have no place in your community.