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Philippines: Evacuations continue following Taal volcanic eruption

14 Jan 2020

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Teresita, 46, and her family of eight arrived at an evacuation centre in Santo Tomas, Batangas, on 13 January after authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of her hometown of Talisay. She is pictured here with two of her children. Credit: OCHA/Regina Maramag

Authorities are continuing to evacuate people living within a 14-kilometre radius of the erupting Taal volcano in the Calabarzon region of the Philippines, with more than 53,000 people taking shelter in 244 evacuation centres.

The numbers continue to rise as local authorities continue to validate assessment reports. It is estimated that the total population within the danger zone is nearly 460,000 people.

Alert level 4 was raised over Taal volcano on 12 January, and the Philippine authorities have issued warnings, based on historical patterns, that current volcanic activity could last a few days, and possibly months.

As of 15 January, the volcano continues to actively erupt, according to the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). New fissures or cracks to the south-west of the Taal Lake shoreline have been observed, with more than 460 volcanic earthquakes recorded since 12 January.

Continuous seismic activity likely signifies continous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity, according to PHIVOLCS.

Volunteers sort through incoming relief items at an evacuation centre in Santo Tomas, Batangas, in the Philippines.?Credit: OCHA/Regina Marama?

The United Nations continues to be in contact with the authorities, although no request for international assistance from the national government is expected at this time. OCHA has conveyed the readiness of the Humanitarian Country Team to provide support if needed.?