A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
On 12 January 2020, the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised an Alert Level from 1 to 4 (out of 5) after increasing activity of Taal Volcano, which is located on the island of Luzon in Batangas, CALABARZON (Region IV-A). An Alert Level 4 means that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days, and warrants a “Danger Zone” of up to 14 kilometres from the main crater.
Taal Volcano is situated on Volcano Island and is listed as a “Permanent Danger Zone”, with permanent settlement on the island not recommended, however, approximately 459,300 people live within the 14 kilometers Danger Zone (OCHA). Taal Volcano is among the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, with more than 30 reported eruptions. On 12 January, PHIVOLCS reported that eruptive activity at Taal Volcano main crater had intensified, with continuous eruptions generating a 15 kilometers of steam laden cloud of super-heated ash, and frequent volcanic lightning raining wet ashfall as far as Quezon City, some 100 kilometers away. This subsequently progressed to a magmatic eruption accompanied by thunder and more lightning. On the advice of PHIVOLCS, pre-cautionary evacuations were conducted in at-risk communities within the 14km Danger Zone in Batangas and Cavite provinces. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of calamity across CALABARZON, as a means of expediting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) situational report as of 6 March 2020, the Taal Volcanic eruptions have had the following impact:
A total of 736,802 people (191,952 families) have been affected in CALABARZON (Region IV-A), Central Luzon (Region III) and National Capital Region (NCR).
• Families displaced:
o At the peak of the crisis, 135,610 people (39,076 families) were being supported in 535 registered evacuation centres (EC), and 170,732 people (44,439 families) were outside the evacuation centres (ECs) (NDRRMC situational report No. 47).
• Damage to infrastructure:
o 14,082 houses were damaged, of which 4,573 were totally damaged (destroyed); and 9,509 partially in the province of Batangas, CALABARZON (Region IV-A).
• Essential services affected o Eight public and private health facilities were closed as a result of evacuation.
o 264 cities/municipalities suspended classes, and 78 schools in the 14km zone had to be evacuated, affecting approximately 31,000 children (Department of Education).
o 24 cities/municipalities experienced power interruptions, all of which have now been fully restored.
o Three cities/municipalities experienced water supply disruptions, all of which have now been fully restored.
o Nine roads were closed due to damage caused and as a result of lockdown of areas within the 14km Danger Zone.
o 643 flights cancelled due to ashfall (383 domestic and 260 international).
• Damage caused to infrastructure and livelihoods (farming, fishing and tourism) estimated to be approximately CHF 65 million (NDRRMC).