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Taal’s fury 2.0

The combination of a volcanic eruption and the pandemic presents a daunting challenge for government officials and health experts

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In this photo handout from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Taal Volcano issues a huge ash plume in the air, prompting the declaration of Alert Level 3.

More than a year after Taal Volcano erupted last year, you would think we would already be used to it. But who can ever be used to a calamity?

Taal’s recent activity came suddenly. In the five months after Alert Level 2 was raised, the volcano was simply simmering, gathering its energy, before it eventually unleashed its malevolent power on 1 July with an explosion that surprised everyone.
As in last year’s occurrence, the call for the evacuation of residents living within Taal’s seven-kilometer radius was raised as a way to safeguard lives from harm.

Taal Volcano looks placid underneath a blanket of ash, even as smoke plumes erupt intermittently, a signal of movement within.

As the exodus to evacuation sites started, the specter of the coronavirus pandemic added a layer of difficulty to the movement of people. How do you protect residents from barangays in the towns of San Nicolas, Laurel, Agoncillo, Taal and Balete and Tanauan City from the virus that has infected more than 1.4 million Filipinos and claimed the lives of 25,816 individuals?

Residents of barangays from towns around Taal Volcano seek shelter at evacuation centers, placing their health in peril from possible Covid infection.

The combination of a volcanic eruption and the pandemic presents a daunting challenge for government officials and health experts.

The situation remains fluid on the ground as the inoculation of citizens at evacuation sites is being hurried to protect them from the coronavirus.

On the other hand, leaders can only adopt measures to mitigate the effects of the volcanic activity, preventing further loss of lives.

In the end, saving people’s lives is paramount in this situation.

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