Taal Volcano Eruption: Relief Operations, Flight Cancellations + More
Here's what's been happening in the last 24 hours.
(SPOT.ph) The Philippines witnessed intense activity coming from Taal Volcano in the last 24 hours. An ash column spewed out of the volcano during a phreatic explosion on Sunday, 1 p.m.; while a lava fountain was seen coming out of the main crater on January 13, 3:20 a.m. The ashfall has reached Metro Manila, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.
While people in the nearby towns of the volcano have been evacuated, government offices and classes in the Metro and other affected areas have been suspended on Monday in the interest of public safety due to the bad effects of the ashfall. Suffice to stay, a big disruption ensued in less than a day, and here are all the things you need to know—from what you can do to help out to steps you can take if you've been directly affected by the calamity.
Call for Donations
Tulong Kabataan is calling for donations of ready-to-eat food, water, cash, medicine, mats, and face masks for evacuees of the Taal eruption. Drop-off location is at Kabataan Partylist Office in Quezon City.
The University of the Philippines also has drop-off points for donations at their Baguio, Diliman, Manila, and Los Baños campuses.
Lipa City Eagles Club is collecting all donations in-kind (water, medicine, and face mask). Cash donations may be deposited to Lipa City Eagles Club's account. Send a message to Rodel G. Lacorte for more information.
Rotaract San Pedro East and Rotaract Taal-Lemery are holding an emergency relief drive for families staying in evacuation centers in Taal, Batangas. Drop-off points are at 64 San Jose Street, Poblacion Zone 9, Taal Batangas and 8 K. Luna Street, Poblacion, San Pedro, Laguna.
You can drop off donations at Landers Superstore branches in Balintawak, Otis, Alabang, and Arcovia. Online shoppers can also use the code HELPTAAL to have purchased items be sent as relief goods.
Flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were temporarily suspended starting on January 12 at 6:30 p.m. due to ashfall over the terminal. The airport has resumed partial operations at 10 a.m. for departures and 12 p.m. for arrivals, and clearing of ashfall on the runways, taxiways, and ramps are being carried out by the Manila International Airport Authority since 4 a.m.
Most of Cebu Pacific's domestic and international flights are still canceled today, January 13. In case your flight was not included in the list, you "may opt to forego traveling today, free of charge." Passengers can manage your booking through the Cebu Pacific website with the following options: rebook flights within 30 days without penalties, refund tickets in full, or store the value of the ticket in a travel fund for future use.
Philippine Airlines have "canceled several domestic flights and [is] delaying the departure of a number of international flights" for January 13.
Skyjet Airlines has likewise suspended flights to and from Camiguin, Coron, and Basco on January 13. You can rebook your flight within 30 days with no extra cost or get a full refund.
AirAsia passengers whose flights have been canceled can send a mesage to the airlines' Facebook page with the keywords “Cancelled Flights Due to Taal Volcano Eruption in Philippines” for queries.
Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City opened their doors for evacuees on Sunday night. The announcement, which was posted on Veritas846's Facebook page, says to look for Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD through telephone number (046) 413-1251.
San Guillermo Parish in Talisay, Batangas has an electric generator where residents can charge their mobile phones for communication needs.
Malls and transport terminals also offered free overnight parking on Sunday night. Stay tuned for announcements if this offer still stands in the following days.
Robinsons Malls, on January 12 at 10 p.m., issued an advisory that overnight parking in selected branches is free of charge. Overnight parking fees are still waived tonight, January 13, for Robinsons Metro East, Robinsons Town Mall Malabon, Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Galleria Ortigas, Robinsons Novaliches, Forum Robinsons, Robinsons Place Las Piñas, and Robinsons Otis, Robinsons Place Dasmariñas, Robinsons Cainta, Robinsons Sta. Rosa, Robinsons Place Imus, Robinsons Place GenTrias, Galleria South, Robinsons Place Lipa, Robinsons Place Antipolo, and Robinsons Town Mall Los Baños. Free WiFi is also available.
Resorts World Manila "is open 24 hours for motorists around our area who need to seek shelter.” Overnight fees on January 12 were waived at Newport Mall, Holiday Inn Express Manila, Newport Grand Wing, Marriott Grand Ballroom, Hilton Manila, and Sheraton Manila Hotel.
Likewise, Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange waived overnight parking fees from January 12 at 10 p.m. to January 13 at 6 a.m. They're also offering free drinking water and free WiFi.
The Village Square Alabang in Almanza Uno, Las Piñas and Southwoods Malls in Biñan, Laguna also waived overnight parking fees.
SM City BF Parañaque and SM City Sucat along Dr. A Santos Avenue also offered free parking on January 12 for those who wish to secure their vehicles.
UPDATED (January 13, 4:45 p.m.): Robinsons Malls announced at 4 p.m. that they're extending their free overnight parking services. This article has been edited to reflect the changes.
UPDATED (January 14, 3 p.m.): This article has been edited to add more groups initiating donation drives.