Taal still spewing ash '' but not as strong as yesterday'': Lorenzana
Taal Volcano is still spewing ash but not as much as Sunday even as more than 20,000 persons have been affected by the eruption.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday President Rodrigo Duterte ordered authorities to rescue and evacuate the affected population, especially those in the danger zone.
"The marching order of the president is to help those who need help... the Department of Health, especially those who are sick because of their exposure to ash yesterday and there are indications that there are respiratory illness so the DOH is also there," he said.
As of Monday afternoon, Lorenzana said Taal Volcano is still spewing ash '' but not as strong as yesterday.''
''"The situation in the area is very fluid until now,'' said Lorenzana. '' But we have already people on the ground. The Philippine Army is there, the PNP they have forces there with vehicles, their search and rescue teams. DPWH ( Department of Public Works and Highways) is busy clearing roads."
Lorenzana said this morning, three inches thick of ash were cleared at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. '' It's really thick,'' he added.
Although the Department of Social Welfare and Development is in Batangas, Lorenzana said due the big number of people who want to evacuate, he admitted that '' our resources was overwhelmed.''
''But anyway we expect these things to be settle down to a little bit normal maybe after one more day," Lorenzana added.
More than 20,000 have been affected due to Taal Volcano, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday afternoon.
As of 12 noon, NDRRMC said 24,508 persons or 5,458 families were affected by Taal's activity. There are 3,456 families or 15,540 persons being served inside 75 evacuation centers in Calabarzon.
The affected population came from 25 cities and municipalities in Batangas and Cavite provinces.
The number of flights cancelled rose to 539, of which 302 were domestic flights and 237 were international flights.
According to NDRRMC, three road sections in Batangas and Cavite are not passable.
The number of cities and municipalities declared class suspension in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and NCR reached 178 while work in government offices were suspended on Monday. Robina Asido/DMS