Safety 101: What to Do During a Volcanic Eruption
What happened, what’s next and what to do in the face of a volcanic eruption
On January 12th, the Philippines experienced a phenomenon that had the world tuned into the news, displaced thousands of families and put lives at stake. Taal Volcano, one of the country’s smallest but most active volcanoes, began to show signs of a looming eruption. Despite records of volcanic unrest in recent years, the last Taal eruption dates back to 1977, leaving Filipinos caught unaware amidst the sudden spewage of ash and lava. Residents in neighboring areas have evacuated their homes as the rest of the country hopes for the best and fears for the worst.
Despite school and work resuming in most areas, Taal Volcano continues to pose a threat to public safety. With volcanologists raising Alert Level 4, it remains possible for an eruption to happen within days or weeks. Taal’s volcanic eruptions have spanned months in the past, making it difficult to foresee how long the ash spewage, lava streams and earthquakes will continue and until when residents of Batangas will need to stay away from their homes.
What do we do?
As the possibility of an eruption remains imminent, authorities urge the public to remain vigilant as eruptions can trigger a number of health conditions and illnesses, including skin irritation, burns, gastrointestinal complications, lung problems and eye irritation.
As with most natural phenomena, preparedness is key: take pets indoors, charge devices, have an emergency bag ready in case evacuation is necessary. For further reference, World Health Organization Philippines has outlined a number of measures for citizens to observe after an eruption.
Donate to families affected by Taal Volcano’s ash and lava spewage. Use your Globe Rewards Points to donate to Rise Against Hunger via this link.