Hundreds of Taal evacuees allowed to return to their homes

Published July 26, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Joenald M. Rayos

LAUREL, Batangas – Hundreds of evacuees who fled their homes due to the series of phreatomagmatic eruptions of Taal Volcano are thankful that they have been allowed to go back to their residences.

They were allowed to return to their homes as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has lowered the alert level of the volcano from Level 3 to Level 2 on July 22.

This was also made to avoid COVID-19 infections in evacuation centers.

But as some of them prepare to return to their residences, still many others remain in the evacuation centers due to flooding in their areas as typhoon “Fabian” and southwest monsoon or “habagat” brought heavy rains for several days.

As of July 24, 9 p.m., 2,369 families composed of 10,507 persons were affected by the recent volcano activities, flooding, and the 6.6-magnitude earthquake last Saturday.

Of these, 1,415 persons composed of 382 families are still taking refuge in 25 evacuation centers elsewhere in the province.

Three evacuees had earlier died of different causes but tested negative for COVID-19 in separate evacuation sites in this municipality.

One of them was an 85-year old evacuee with underlying Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Condition who died of immediate organ failure at Niyugan evacuation center on July 8. The deceased was identified as Eriberto Cabillo of Barangay Gulod here. He had preexisting hypertensive cardiovascular disease and had been bedridden for quite some time before he died.

According to the local police, Cabillo was discovered unconscious before dawn.

Immediately, PNP personnel detailed in the evacuation center directly called Dr. Benbenato Garcia of Laurel Municipal Health Center for immediate medical attention to revive the victim but was declared dead at about 3 a.m.