The eruption of Taal Volcano on the island of Taal on 12th January left behind a desolate landscape of charred trees and cinder dunes. The volcano remains on Alert Level 4 and an eruption is possible within hours or days.
People living on the island and in surrounding areas threatened by the volcano have been evacuated. According to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development, more than 71,000 families are affected, approximately 280,000 people. They include some 39,000 families living temporarily in more than 490 evacuation centers.
HI's team in the Philippines is assessing the needs of people affected by the eruption in the areas of Batangas and Cavite. According to HI, many vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, older people and the sick, were not moved to evacuation centers and are staying with relatives or friends. As a result, they do not have access to basic services such as sanitation, drinking water and food.
The impact of Taal Volcano, including ash-buried soil and smoke clouds, is likely to cause long-term damage and significantly impact access to drinking water, air quality, farmland and livestock, as many animals died in the disaster.
HI continues to assess needs in the field and plans to launch an emergency response in aid of disaster victims.