Over 50,000 now in shelters days after initial Taal eruption — NDRRMC
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 15, 2020 - 12:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rampant ashfall following Taal Volcano's eruptions continues to disrupt the lives of many as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) recorded on Wednesday a new high of 12,486 families—53,019 people—who were affected by volcanic unrest.

According to the latest NDRRMC bulletin released on Wednesday morning, exactly 10,000 families—totalling 43,681 persons—were seeking temporary shelter in 217 evacuation centers. 

Days after the initial eruption at Taal's main crater, all the aforementioned statistics still indicated a dramatic influx from the NDRRMC's previously reported numbers, as more and more are forced into cramped evacuation centers. 

As of 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, a total of 466 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in Taal region. One hundred fifty-six of these were felt and ranged from Magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 and Intensities I to V. 

According to a briefer from the United States Geological Survey, magnitude measures the strength of the quake at its source while intensity measures the shaking of by the earthquake at a specific location.

The provinces of Batangas and Cavite continue reel from a collective P74,549,300 worth of damage to agriculture, a statistic that remained unchanged from the last update. 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a report said that there were around 459,300 living in the danger zone.

Among the evacuees who were living in the danger zone around Taal Volcano were an estimated 21,000 children, International child welfare organization Save the Children Philippines said in a statement sent to Philstar.com.

State seismological agency Phivolcs hoisted alert level 4 hours after Taal Volcano first erupted, which indicated that a "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. 

But on Wednesday's 8 a.m. bulletin by Phivolcs, state volcanologists said that the volcano displayed "generally weaker" activity throughout the past 24 hours. 

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