Taal quake fear spurs Batangas town's exodus: mayor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 10:45 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2020 09:04 AM

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Fear of volcanic quakes caused by Taal Volcano's unrest spurred residents in Lemery, Batangas to abandon their homes and seek safer ground, an official said Thursday. 

Local authorities on Wednesday imposed a forced evacuation of residents and barred entry into the town, which sits inside the 14-kilometer danger zone around Taal. 

"Madali naman po naming napakiusapan ang mga tao [na mag-evacuate] dahil nagkaroon na rin po ng trauma sila sa mga sunod-sunod na lindol e," Lemery Mayor Eulalio Alilio told radio DZMM. 

"Sunod-sunod po ang tawag ng mga tao. Hindi po namin maintindihan kung sinong uunahin namin," he said. 

(It was easy to convince people to evacuate because they suffered trauma from the successive quakes. Residents kept calling us. We were not sure where to go first.) 

In the past 24 hours, Phivolcs recorded 494 quakes triggered by Taal, of which 14 were felt, the strongest at a "weak" magnitude 3, said Phivolcs director Renato Solidum. 

The quakes opened cracks in several roads, farms and the town hall in Lemery, said Alilio. 

Evacuees, he said, would be allowed to check on their homes and pets from 6 to 10 a.m. Thursday. 

Donations for evacuees, he said, should be sent to neighboring Nasugbu, San Luis, Bauan, and the provincial auditorium, he said. 

DZMM, Jan. 25, 2020