THE government has distributed P17 million worth of relief items to families affected by the eruption of the Taal Volcano, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Sunday, January 19.
The NDRRMC said a total of P17,227,950.61 worth of assistance came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health and local government units.
It added that 22,472 families, composed of 96,061 people in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, were affected by the calamity. Of which, 16,174 families or 70,413 people were taking temporary shelters in 300 evacuation centers provided by the government.
The volcano's alert level remains on level 4, which means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours or days.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs) said 691 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded from 1 p.m. of January 12 until Saturday, January 18. Of which, 175 had magnitudes ranging from 1.2 to 4.1 and were felt at Intensities I to V.
For its part, the Department of Public Works and Highways has conducted cleaning and clearing of ash fall, hauling of ashes, and pruning of trees on road sections outside danger zone.
Law enforcers that include the police and military were conducting response operations particularly in areas on lockdown to prevent evacuees from returning to their houses.
At least 14 towns or municipalities in Batangas were placed on total or partial lockdown amid the threat of another explosion.
In Agoncillo, residents trooped to the entrance of the town, hoping that the will be allowed to go and check their houses again.
Agoncillo town was among the areas badly hit by the eruption.
In Tanauan, Batangas, residents were given window hours – 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- since Saturday to get their belongings and feed their pets and livestock. (SunStar Philippines)