Darkness all around: Tagaytay tourists, residents advised to stay indoors during quakes

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2020 06:29 AM

TAGAYTAY CITY - Instead of going to open spaces in the event of a quake, tourists and residents here have been advised to stay indoors, a local government official said early Monday as ash from the Taal volcano continued to cover parts of the city.

Buildings in Tagaytay City - a tourist haven about 30 kilometers away from the Philippines’ second most active volcano - can withstand the quakes so far - city administrator Gregorio Monreal told ABS-CBN News.

“Unlike doon sa mga initial training natin, pag may lindol, bababa sa open area [pero] dahil may mga ash fall, lalong maeexpose sila sa elements, lalong delikado,” he said.

“We discourage na mag-travel sila outside Tagaytay kasi mas delikado, madulas ang daan, madilim may ash fall.”

Exposure to volcanic ash may lead to health complications like bronchitis, eye irritation and skin allergies, the Department of Health earlier said in an advisory.

SAFE HAVEN

As of 2:30 a.m., 2,045 residents of Laurel and Talisay towns in Batangas have been evacuated to Tagaytay, Monreal said.

“Yung mga taga Talisay and Laurel ang umakyat dito because before 'yung history ng Taal volcano eruption, dito ang takbuhan ng tao dahil mataas tayo. Kung meron mang epekto satin, ash fall lang,” he said.

Rescue operations will resume after sunrise as disaster response teams had a hardtime traversing roads blanketed by ash from the volcano, he said.

“Pag sikat ng araw, atsaka natin icle-clear ang daan papuntang Talisay at Laurel by deploying firetrucks para mahugasan natin ang daan,” he said.

All schools, barangay halls and sports centers in Tagaytay have been converted into temporary evacuation centers, the city administrator said, noting that they are expecting more evacuees later in the day.

The Taal volcano’s rumbling early Monday was its 44th eruption. Its last flare-up was recorded in 1977.