Taal eruption killed animals, plants on volcano island, NDRRMC says
A resident bathes his cow covered in ash in Taal Lake after they rescued them from a farm at Barangay Bignay, Batangas on Monday.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo
Taal eruption killed animals, plants on volcano island, NDRRMC says
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2020 - 12:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — Animals and plants on Taal island were killed after the volcano roared to life Sunday, belching ash and spewing lava fountains, a disaster official said Tuesday.

Mark Timbal, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson, said the agency has received reports that animals on the volcano island were already dead because of volcanic fumes.

"The animals are too big or too heavy for the boats so the human beings were the first ones to be evacuated and the animals are the ones next in line. But when the rescuers are supposed to return, the escalation of the volcanic activity prevented them from doing so," Timbal told ABS-CBN News Channel.

He added: “We were informed during the aerial inspection that both flora and fauna on the volcanic island are already dead. So there would be no reason for rescuers to return.”

The exact number of animals impacted by the eruption of Taal volcano is not yet known.  

Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said rescue teams have obtained a telescope to look for survivors and will attempt to gain access to the volcano to rescue horses and other animals trapped there.

“Authorities believe that all the animals who were in the area immediately surrounding the volcano likely died in the disaster. It’s an especially painful possibility for PETA Asia staffers, who had been working for years to improve conditions for the horses forced to carry tourists up the volcano. They knew each one by name,” PETA said.

The Taal Lake is also home to tawilis (Sardinella tawilis)—the only freshwater sardine in the world. Tawilis, an endemic species, has been listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A rare sea snake can be also found in the area.

Animals left behind

PETA said it has also deployed rescuers in the evacuation areas giving food, water and veterinary care to dogs and cats abandoned or taken to centers.

“They will continue caring for these animals until they can be reunited with their owners or placed in safe shelters,” it said.

The organization also called for items needed for relief operations for animals affected by the eruption.

The provincial government of Batangas declared a state of calamity in the province Monday.

A total of 6,981 families or 30,423 individuals residing in Batangas and Cavite have been affected by Taal’s unrest as of Tuesday morning. Of the figure, 4,175 families are seeking evacuation.


PETA accepts monetary donations as it continues its rescue operations for animals on the volcano island and surrounding areas.

Here are PETA’s bank details:


Account name: PETA Asia-Pacific Limited

Account number: 007-066-31632-3

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