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Calamity damage hits P3 billion, fisheries sector takes severe beating

Damage to farm lands, crops, farm animals and agricultural infrastructure due to Taal Volcano eruption rose to P3.06 billion, almost six times higher than the P577.39 million reported earlier.

READ: Ashfall destroys P578 million in coffee, other cash crops, livestock and infra

Calamity damage hits P3 billion, fisheries sector takes severe beating
VILE VIEWS. This combination of handout photographs from AIRBUS/CNE created on Jan 17, shows aerial views of the Taal Volcano on July 11, 2019 (left) and Jan 14 (right), the latter three days after the phreatic eruptions of one of the country’s 53 active volcanoes. AFP
Fresh reports showed the calamity devastated about 15,790 hectares of agricultural lands and 1,923 animal heads.

The recent assessment included damage reports from Laguna and updated reports from Batangas and Cavite in coffee, cacao, pineapple, assorted fruits and vegetables, rice, coconut, and fisheries.

Based on the report, fisheries sustained the biggest loss among the affected sub-sectors.

Meanwhile, in its latest bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology cited the presence of steady steam emissions from fissures or cracks on the northern slopes of Taal Island, saying this was an indication of high volumes of magma.

READ: Atom-bomb like blast feared

The shoreline around the Taal Lake was observed to be receding.

Taal Volcano remained under Alert Level 4, meaning a potentially deadly and destructive eruption is imminent.

“Activity in the main crater in the past 24 hours has been characterized by steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions that generated dark gray ash plumes of 100 to 800 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest to west of the main crater,” PHILVOLCS said.

Since Jan. 12 at 1 p.m., PHILVOLCS recorded 634 volcanic earthquakes.

PHILVOLCS Executive Director Renato Solidum said the volcano’s seismic activity shows there is “continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.”

PHILVOLCS said communities around the volcano must brace for the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall, while the airspace around Taal Volcano remained unsafe to aircraft due to risks that may be posed by airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column.

With 6,000 fish cages installed around Taal Lake, damaged installations were estimated at P1.6 billion, mostly for culture of Tilapia and some Bangus species.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) delivered 20 bags of animal feeds, drugs and medicines for rescued animals.

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and National Dairy Authority provided 2.5 tons of roughage (1 ton corn silage and 1.5 tons rice straw) for delivery to Batangas on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Regional Field Office II coordinated with the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal to donate 10 tons of assorted vegetables set to arrive by early Saturday in Lipa City.

Moreover, the League of Associations, composed of 11 Vegetable Farmers’ and Traders’ Associations in La Trinidad, Benguet, has coordinated with Agriculture unit in Cordillera Administrative Region for a truck to haul three to four tons of assorted vegetables.

Collection of vegetables will start on Jan. 19 at the La Trinidad Trading Post and will be delivered to evacuation centers in Batangas in coordination with Kilusang Pagbabago and Philippine National Police.

As of Friday, a total of six road sections are on lockdown as a precaution for the affected communities.

A total of 644 flights (383 domestic and 261 international) have been canceled due to the volcanic ash from Taal, of which 593 flights (359 domestic and 234 international) have resumed operations, the NDRRMC said.

Twenty cities or municipalities have experienced power interruptions in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas as of Jan.16, 2020.

Power supply in 10 cities or municipalities have since been restored.    

READ: Sanctions up vs. hoarding, overpricing

READ: Taal Lake one giant cauldron

Topics: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology , Taal Volcano , eruption , Renato Solidum
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