Okay, let me preface this post by saying that this blog has never been and will not be about the business of delivering breaking news.
However, it is in the business of helping when needed.
The reason why I thought it would be a good idea to write about the Taal Volcation Eruption in 2020 is because I have a personal connection with the Batangas province in the Philippines.
This is the part of the world I was born and raised in.
This is where my close friends and family have always and continue to live.
I gave my marriage vows in front of said family and friends in a quaint chapel not too far from Volcano Island, its picturesque setting making my wedding photos particularly breathtaking.
Now, living many miles away and unable to be there physically to help, I’ve decided to write this post and set up a fundraiser campaign that would make it easier for most people who live internationally to assist.
Where is the Taal Volcano?
So, where is the Taal Volcano located?
Located in the Batangas province in the island of Luzon, the Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines.
It had 34 recorded historical eruptions, some of them particularly deadly and causing not only untold damage to property but the loss of thousands of lives.
From a purely personal perspective, it’s about 45km away from where I was born and where many of my family and friends still live.
They’re still lucky, I suppose, in that they’re far away enough that they’ve only had to contend with light ashfall, which was brought about by shifting wind patterns, rather than being forced to flee for their lives.
But some of my friends and my former classmates are not so lucky.
Living within the 17km and 14km danger zones, they’ve had to leave their homes – and sometimes even their beloved animals.
The total count of evacuees have now risen to over 53,000 despite the fact that some refuse to leave whilst others make their way back to check on their homes and livestock.
Taal Volcano Eruption – History
The Taal Volcano has erupted so many times in the past that it’s a wonder it’s remained quiet as long as it has.
Particularly deadly were the Taal Volcano eruptions of 1749, 1754 and 1911.
To date, its total death count is around 6,000 although some say that this number has been underestmated and that the numbers, therefore, are significantly higher.
Because of it’s activity, the Taal Volcano has been likened to Italy’s Mt. Etna (which doesn’t seem to stop erupting) and Mt. Vesuvius (which destroyed the famous city of Pompeii).
It requires round the clock scientific monitoring and is considered one of the world’s 16 most dangerous volcanoes.
Taal Volcano Eruption – Update
At the time of writing, the entire province has been placed under a state of calamity as uncertainty strikes deep despite the relative and perhaps even deceptive quiet of Taal Volcano.
Cracks continue appear on the earth and quakes continue to occur in great frequency.
Between my setting up of the fundraising page and my writing this section of this post, the total count of evacuees has risen from 53,000 to 121,000.
The outlook is grim.
Everyone is bracing for a worse eruption and no one can say when people can go back to their homes.
Of course, even if they were allowed to go back, which at this point they aren’t (and the government has set up blockades to stop this), there might not be anything left to go back to.
Taal Volcano Donation – How to help
There are so many ways to help and in fact, you can go to the CNN Philippines website where they list the many different ways you can assist the relief effort.
The problem I faced is that I don’t actually live in the Philippines anymore and all the ways I’d found all depended on either a bank transfer or giving donations in kind, which isn’t so easy or as fast when you’re sending money from abroad.
My husband and I have set up a fundraising campaign on GoGetFunding and we’ve partnered with a local business based in Batangas.
VRRG Manpower and Training Center Inc is located in Batangas but is far away enough from the danger zones that it’s able to provide (rather than require) assistance.
Normally, it provides much needed skilled training for young people to increase their chances at securing much needed jobs.
In this time of great need, the company will be spending resources in order to purchase and disburse the following items:
– face mask (N95)
– clean bottled water
– food (canned or instant goods)
– sleeping mats
– sanitary napkins
Side Note: This isn’t an exhaustive list and more items will be added when and if they become necessary.
If you would like to help, please donate to our campaign and share to as many people as you can.
Spread the word.
We need you!