There are roughly millions of volcanoes around the world, with approximately 1,500 potentially active. Volcanoes are the Earth's most natural geological architects that have made up almost 80% of the planet's surfaces. Although these volcanoes make beautiful scenery, it also imposes threats and hazards to communities living near its vicinity as it could erupt and produce harmful chemicals.
There are two types of volcanic eruptions, one explosive and the other effusive. The most recent example of an effusive eruption is the volcanic eruption that started in Fagradalsfjall, Iceland, in early March this year. Unlike explosive eruptions, effusive is relatively calm, with lava flowing steadily out of the ground.
In the Philippines, in 2020, an explosive eruption has happened with
the Taal volcano, coming to life after 42 years of inactivity. The reactivation
started on the 12th of January of 2020 as ashes spewed from the mount of the
said volcano. Ash fall covered the CALABARZON,
Metro Manila, and other neighboring
towns in Central Luzon. The whole activity took almost 14 days of ash,
rocks, and lava explosion that has caused several accidents and casualties.
Many had lost their properties - homes were wrecked with the thick and heavy
particles from the volcanic activity. Livelihood stopped, many agricultural and
domestic animals and people alike died, the entire vicinity was affected.
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According to the latest bulletin update by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS), the Taal Volcano is possibly erupting soon. A phreatomagmatic activity, a type of explosive eruption resulting from magma erupting through water, was observed on July 07, 2021. There is also a continuous emission of sulfur dioxide, threatening the safety of people in and near the volcano.
Get the latest updates from the PHILVOLCS official website visit www.philvolcs.dost.gov.ph.
To avoid casualties and unnecessary unpreparedness, here are the things to do and consider before, during, and after a volcanic eruption.
Preparing for the Eruption
The Taal Volcano eruption is unstoppable and is beyond anyone's control. It is, however, in your hand what you can do to prepare for such a disaster. Preparedness is the way to put yourself in a better state of survival once the eruption happens. To shelter or to evacuate, whichever is the best decision to make, always be ready. Get all the following items on your emergency bag as early as now.
- Pack all essential needs (checklist above)
- First aid kit and manual
- Face mask and other breathing protection
- Eye protection
- Medicines (Maintenance, if applicable)
- Food (easy-to-open canned goods and instant cook)
- Clean water for drinking
- Power bank (in case of power interruption)
- Mobile Cellphone (for emergency calls and communication)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Gas up your vehicle
- Fix all broken windows and passages to secure no volcanic ash gets inside your house.
- Check ALL pets and if it's impossible to carry them with you in evacuation centers, at least leave them unleashed and with food supplies of their own. They, too, deserve to fight for their survival.
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Always keep updated, check the news or listen to the radio broadcast. If local authorities request evacuation, do as told. Insisting to stay at home while waiting for an eruption to happen is the most dangerous situation you would ever want to experience. Prepare all essentials to keep you and your family safe when a volcanic eruption happens.
Surviving the Eruption
The actual occurrence of the volcanic eruption may scare you more, making you panic even with the preparations you made. Chances are, you know of the things you can prepare for, but not of the things you should be doing in the event of an explosive eruption.
Learn more and help yourself in case of any worst scenario that could happen anytime.
- Be alert and physically condition your body to perform any emergency orders from authorities.
- Stay indoors and close all passages of smoke and ashes like windows, doors, and dampers to keep them from entering.
- Always carry with you the essential emergency bag you prepared prior.
- Make sure your mobile cellphones are functioning (for communication)
- Prepare your flashlights to give everyone their essentials.
- Stay indoor; avoid staying next to fragile walls and windows that are above ground level.
- As much as possible, guide your pets to safety spots at home with you. Make sure to have prepared their essentials too.
When outdoor during the eruption, make sure to carry with you your phone for emergency and rescue calls. Lookup for the EMERGENCY HOTLINES to call in case of emergency.
Securing Safety after the Eruption
After the eruption has subsided, take time to check on yourself and other family members with you for injury. Don't go out immediately without further notice as you don't know the amount of ash fall covering your area. Follow the simple safety measures below.
- Immediately inform your other families of your current situation. Call emergency hotlines if anyone you are with has an injury or needs immediate medical attention.
- Watch after each other and be extra careful; wear safety gear-mask and goggles (especially if volcanic particles got in your hiding area).
- Communicate with rescue teams if your house has zero visibility due to ashfalls for rescuing.
If staying in an evacuation center, avoid going out and returning home immediately. Understandably, you are concerned about your properties and other important matters you left at home, but your safety is the priority. The ashes from the eruption are harmful and could cause serious respiratory problems. The aftermath of the volcanic eruption is hazardous and could cause several accidents.
It is necessary to keep connected and listen to authorities for further instructions before heading home.
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Natural disasters like a volcanic eruption is unstoppable. If it is explosive- ash fall, rocks, and lava create a hazard that could harm and kill people. Learning about it could help prepare yourself and your family to any avoid unwanted injuries and casualties.
If you live near Taal Volcano or other volcanoes, active or not,
educate and equip yourself with these safety measures that will help you and
your loved ones be safe.
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