My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th year anniversary together in just a few days and we chose to celebrate it by lending a hand to Batangueños affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano last Saturday. One of the evacuation centers we stumbled upon was in Bugtongnapulo Elementary School located along Balete Road in Malvar, Batangas.
The site catered to almost 1,000 evacuees from the towns of Agoncillo, Lemery, Balete, Laurel, Taal and San Nicolas. We were able to donate food and clothing to them. Our tandem was ferried using the Mitsubishi Strada which we drove from Manila all the way to Malvar.
Good thing, my wife was able to use online app, Waze in this worthwhile endeavor. It proved to be useful in activating evacuation zone notifications and updates on road closures, emergency shelters and donation drop off centers.
Waze activates crisis response features for Taal operations
Amid the eruption of Taal Volcano, Waze continues to bring communities together on and off the road. The community-driven navigation platform is working closely with the Department of Transportation (DoTr), CNN Philippines and DZMM (630 a.m.) Radyo Patrol on the relief efforts for the afflicted communities.
Since 12 January, the phreatic explosion of Taal Volcano has been observed generating up to a 15-kilometer ash column. This has affected the regions of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Metro Manila and parts of Southern Luzon.
Road closure and emergency
Waze’s Crisis Response team is assisting a total of 308 different segments of road closures, 102 emergency shelters, and donation centers as of date. Local Waze users affected by the crisis received both push notifications on the day of the eruption and during the relief operations. Users are being updated on the map should there be an increase in the number of new road closures due to Taal’s’ volcanic activity.
The 14-km radius from the Taal Volcano was declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as a danger zone. To reflect the news, Waze’s Crisis Response team also set up the area as an evacuation zone in the map, with an evacuation zone notification warning showing up in the Waze app whenever a user navigates to a destination within the evacuation zone. This feature will be activated when the team has verification of an evacuation zone and donation drop off centers from an official source.
Centers on Waze Map
Aside from notifications, the Waze app allows users to search for donation drop off centers nearest to them. Wazers will just have to type in “Donate” in the destination search bar, and the nearest donation drop off center will appear. Wazers can also choose among the other drop off centers on the list found in the search results.
To date, Waze users can choose from the following nearby donation centers:
8001 Camia, Makati; Padre Faura Street, Manila; 55 C.P Garcia Avenue, Quezon City; Samonte Park Rotunda, Cavite City, Cavite; City Work Spaces, second floor, DCR Building, Aguinaldo Highway, Imus, Cavite; 8 Juan Luna, San Pedro; NCST Building, Aguinaldo Highway, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Unit 1, Contemprato Building, Sugar road, Carmona, Cavite; Pedro R. Sandoval Avenue, Los Baños; Governor Pack Road, Baguio and selected McDonald’s stores.