Eruption of Taal Volcano Devastates Mataas na Kahoy
Hometown of Hermes Arriola
On Sunday January 12, 2020, the Taal volcano erupted, bringing devastation to the surrounding areas of the Batangas Province. Mataas na Kahoy, the hometown of Hermes Arriola was in the center of the destruction. The victims need all the help they can get! Please donate whatever you can using our secure payment system. Most of the funds collected will go to victims’ relief. If you wish to donate extra funds, you may use your PayPal account with the note “Donation for Bangon Batangas”
Warnings of another volcanic eruption in the Philippines have forced thousands more people to abandon their homes. Access to high-risk areas is limited near the Taal volcano in Batangas Province. Drone video shows a town near the volcano being blanketed with falling ash. Buildings have collapsed and evacuation centres are almost full.
Watch the Taal Volcano up Close
The Colorless Landscape Around Taal Volcano
An aerial view into Taal Volcano crater on January 21, 2020
The volcano erupted on the afternoon of January 12, 2020, 43 years after its previous eruption in 1977. According to PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum, a phreatic eruption was first recorded at around 1 pm Philippine Standard Time (UTC+8). Loud rumbling sounds were also felt and heard from the volcano island. By 2:30 pm, PHIVOLCS raised the alert status to Alert Level 2 after a stronger explosion was recorded around 2 pm. It was followed by an even stronger explosion by around 3 pm that spew an ash column measuring 100 meters, prompting PHIVOLCS to upgrade the alert status to Alert Level 3 by 4 pm. Furthermore, Solidum confirmed that there was a magmatic intrusion that is likely the cause of the volcano’s phreatic eruptions on Sunday morning and afternoon. PHIVOLCS ordered an evacuation in the towns of Balete, San Nicolas and Talisay in Batangas and other towns within the shores of Taal Lake. By 7:30 pm, PHIVOLCS upgraded the alert status to Alert Level 4 after volcanic activities intensified as “continuous eruption generated a tall 10 to 15 kilometres (6.2 to 9.3 mi) steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that rained wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City and Caloocan.” Ashfall from the volcano were also experienced in Cavite and Laguna and reached as far as Metro Manila and Pampanga.
Vehicles covered in ash sit near Agoncillo on January 20, 2020.
On Monday, January 13, PHIVOLCS reported that the volcano emitted a strombolian type of eruption between 2:48 am to 4:28 am. A lava fountain was recorded at 3:20 am. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources presented a study that the air quality index of cities in Metro Manila had worsened; Mandaluyong had the highest amount of inhalable coarse particulate matter (PM10) with 118, followed by Las Piñas (108) and Taguig (104), all of which were “considered unhealthy for sensitive groups” with respiratory issues. Meanwhile, the cities with the least amount of PM10 were San Juan and Malabon, both with “good” amounts of 22 and 28 respectively. These were followed by “moderate/fair” amounts of PM10 in Pasig (55), Parañaque (62) and Makati (63).
A Ferris wheel is covered with volcanic ash in a park in the city of Tagaytay, on January 14, 2020.
Houses near Taal Volcano’s crater are seen buried in volcanic ash on January 14, 2020.
By January 16, European satellites observed that the water which filled the main crater prior to the eruption had almost completely disappeared.
A small herd of white cows stands among destroyed trees and buildings at the foot of Taal Volcano, as seen from a Philippine air-force helicopter during an aerial survey in the town of Agoncillo on January 21, 2020.