JANUARY 14, 2020 – An estimated 75 million pesos worth of crops, livestock and fisheries were reported damaged by the heavy ashfall spewed by Taal volcano in Batangas, the agriculture department said on Tuesday.
About 752 hectares of agricultural lands and 102 heads of animals have been affected by the continuous volcanic activities around the country’s second most active volcano, according to the agency’s southern Tagalog office.
The most affected commodity was coffee with nearly 74 million pesos worth of the precious beans destroyed.
Around 6,000 fish cages were also at risk of being damaged including Sardinella tawilis, a freshwater sardine endemic in Taal Lake, the province’s most famous and expensive produce.
Last year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed tawilis as an endangered species.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said fishkill is expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content brought by the volcanic eruption.
Taal volcano continued to show signs of possible explosive eruption for the third day, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in its regular situation.
Taal, one the world ‘s lowest volcano, has generated 500-meter tall lava fountains and dispersed hazardous ash in nearby provinces in the past 24 hours.
More than 30,000 people had fled from their homes, disaster management officials said. Phivolcs has set a danger around a 14-kilometer radius from the volcano island in the middle of Taal lake.
Classes were suspended in Metro Manila and parts of CALABARZON since Monday, while over 600 domestic and international flights were cancelled. (Karen Macalalad/MM)