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Jakarta Post

Dozens of Indonesians seek refuge from Mt. Taal eruption at Manila embassy

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 15, 2020   /   02:58 pm
Dozens of Indonesians seek refuge from Mt. Taal eruption at Manila embassy A government truck evacuates residents of Tanauan to safety on Jan. 13, 2020, after Mount Taal began spewing ash over the town in Batangas province, south of Manila. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

The Indonesian Embassy  in Manila has opened its doors to provide refuge to 76 citizens, three days after Mount Taal erupted on Sunday in the Philippine province of Batangas.

“All are healthy,” Judha Nugraha, the Foreign Ministry’s director for the protection of citizens, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The embassy said local authorities were still restoring water and power to several areas near the volcano.

“We advise caution for all Indonesian citizens. In [the event of] an emergency, please call the embassy as soon as possible,” Judha added.

Located 82 kilometers southwest of the Philippine capital, the 311-meter-tall volcano spewed columns of ash and steam on Jan. 12, which prompted thousands to be evacuated and aviation officials to temporarily halt flights at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The eruption has also triggered at least 75 earthquakes and disrupted the nation’s financial market.

Nearly 44,000 people have fled the 14-kilometer danger zone around Mt. Taal, with volcanologists warning that a devastating eruption could rain rocks and magma on the area and generate a tsunami in the crater lake surrounding the volcano, Reuters reported.

Officials have said that the Philippine government would declare the volcanic island “no man's land” following the eruption, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

At a situation briefing on Tuesday evening, Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the recommendation to bar human settlements on the island.

Mt. Taal last erupted in 1977, and has recorded at least 34 eruptions over 450 years.