The Philippine government has officially requested the UN’s support in procuring face masks” to help against ash, dust and noxious sulfur dioxide, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
In explosive eruptions last Sunday, the Taal Volcano, located on the island of Luzon, some 70 kilometres south of the capital city of Manila, began to violently spew magma, which has led to the evacuation of more than 38,000 people to 198 evacuation centres so far, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) tweeted on Wednesday.
Within hours, the volcano shot a mile-high plume of ash and triggered multiple earthquakes. Taal has had at least 35 reported eruptions since records began, most recently in 1977. Mr. Dujarric said that OCHA and International Organization for Migration (IOM) teams were on the ground near the volcano.
Meanwhile, knee-deep gray ash covers homes, animal cadavers and alarming cracks on the island’s surface, as UN teams visit evacuation centres and support local authorities.