By Joy Gabrido
BAY, Laguna, January 13 (PIA) — Batangas was placed under state of calamity following a special session of the provincial board on Monday afternoon.
The declaration came after thousands of Batangas residents in various areas were affected as a result of Taal Volcano’s eruption on Sunday.
Evacuation within the 14-kilometer radius from Taal Volcano continues even as the number of displaced individuals in Batangas has climbed to more than 15,000 on Monday based on a report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The Taal Volcano has remained at Alert Level 4 which means continuous volcanic earthquakes and eruptive activities in its main crater are expected to occur, causing ashfall in Batangas and in nearby provinces and a large part of Luzon.
“Nais kong ibahagi sa lahat ng mga Batangueño na kumikilos ang pamahalaan para matulungan ang lahat ng apektado at maiwasan ang anumang casualties (I want all Batangueños to know that the government is working hard to help everyone who is affected and avoid any casualty),” Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas said in a media briefing.
He assured that the province is prepared while augmentation from other local and national governments has started arriving.
The Batangas PDRRMO, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other government agencies have already deployed ambulances, trucks and other emergency vehicles in affected areas.
Relief goods from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) are in place, while over 20,000 N95 masks from the Department of Health (DOH) are set to be distributed to affected individuals.
PDRRMO Chief Joselito Castro said the most affected towns include Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo, and San Nicolas. (Joy Gabrido with reports from PIO Batangas Capitol)