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TAAL’S WRATH | Fisheries suffer huge losses as farm damages reach P3 B
January 17, 2020 , 12:56 PM

JANUARY 17, 2020 – Fisheries suffered heavy losses as the farm damages due to Taal volcano’s eruption in the southern Tagalog regions have risen to more than 3 billion pesos, the agriculture department said on Friday.

In its latest report, the Department of Agriculture said about 1.6 billion pesos worth of tilapia and bangus were lost in fish cages installed around Taal Lake.

The remaining 1.46 billion pesos worth of losses were the affected agricultural crops such as coffee, cacao, and pineapple in Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite.

For nearly a week, the country’s second most active volcano continued to show signs of hazardous explosive eruption within hours or days, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Phivolcs said they had recorded 65 volcanic earthquakes since 5 a.m. on Thursday, signifying continuous magmatic intrusion underneath.

Taal Volcano has also emitted steady steam and infrequent weak explosions, dispersing ash southwest to west of its main crater. Receding of shoreline was likewise observed around the lake.

“PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed,” the agency.

Hundreds of thousands people from the two affected provinces have already fled to safety in temporary shelter ares, according to local government units.

In Batangas, an estimated 800,000 had left their homes as the province declares a state of calaminity.

President Rodrigo Duterte has already distributed 160-million peso worth of agriculture, fishery and livelihood assistance farmers and fishers at Batangas City Sports Complex.

More help are also pouring in evacuation centers from several government officials and private groups.

Local governments elsewhere were also donating food and other relief materials to displaced families from 12 towns in Batangas declared as no-man’s land.

Roadblocks were set up to control the entry of people in the high-risk areas. (Karen Macalalad/MM)

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