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Jakarta Post

Philippines’ Taal volcano erupts, Indonesians told to exercise vigilance

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 13, 2020   /   11:55 am
Philippines’ Taal volcano erupts, Indonesians told to exercise vigilance People get a ride on a government truck that will take them to a safer area after Taal volcano began spewing ash over Tanauan town, Batangas province, south of Manila, on Jan. 13. Lava and broad columns of ash illuminated by lightning shot from an erupting volcano south of the Philippine capital on Monday, grounding hundreds of flights. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

The Foreign Ministry has warned Indonesians citizens in the Philippines’ Cavite to remain vigilant after the Taal volcano in the province erupted on Sunday evening, spewing ash and prompting mass evacuations.

There are 170 Indonesians residing in Cavite, most of whom are students, said Judha Nugraha, the Foreign Ministry’s director for citizens protection, on Monday.

“The protection team from the Indonesian Embassy in Manila was in Cavite this morning to monitor the situation, coordinate with local authorities and provide assistance to Indonesian citizens,” Judha said. “If necessary, the team will open up the embassy to the citizens.”

The embassy has issued calls for Indonesians in all impacted areas to remain vigilant, follow instructions from Philippine authorities and to wear masks or wet towels when outside.

“In an emergency, please call the embassy’s hotline at +63917 3198470,” Judha said.

The eruption of the volcano -- which is located some 82 kilometers southwest of Metro Manila -- has caused at least two roads, the Tagaytay-Talisay Road and the Tagaytay Taal Lake Road, to be closed off to motorists on Monday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

In the country’s province of Batangas, an advisory from the Department of Public Works and Highways said it has deployed personnel and equipment to support rescue and evacuation procedures in several towns, including San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete, Agoncillo, Tanauan and Laurel.

Ashfall was experienced in several parts of Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon due to the volcanic activity.

The volcano has also triggered some 75 earthquakes, forcing the nation’s financial markets to be suspended and Manila airport to be closed, Bloomberg reported.

The Philippines is on alert Monday for the “explosive eruption" of the volcano, which officials said could be imminent after it spewed ash and steam as high as 15 kilometers on Sunday evening.

A “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Monday morning, as quoted from Bloomberg.

Thousands of people have been evacuated since late Sunday, with plans to move as many as 200,000 people.

Sunday’s eruption was the most recent after the 311 meter volcano last erupted in 1977. It is the second-most active volcano in the Philippines after Mayon volcano and has recorded at least 34 eruptions in the past 450 years. (ipa)