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Taal Volcano eruption already causing swath of destruction

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By Joseph Almer Pedrajas

BATANGAS – Tubs of fishes turned up dead. Animals covered by ashes were found dead. Some areas were placed on lockdown, while a river went dry. Several roads cracked while many houses were damaged.

People watch from Tagaytay, Cavite province, south of Manila, as Taal Volcano continues to spew ash on Tuesday.   (AP/Aaron Favila)

People watch from Tagaytay, Cavite province, south of Manila, as Taal Volcano continues to spew ash. (AP/Aaron Favila)

All these were caused by the eruption of the Taal Volcano, which continues to show signs of possible explosive eruption

In Barangay Buso-Buso in Laurel town, a fisherman said they have been recovering tubs of dead milkfish since Tuesday on the coast of Taal Lake. They believed that the temperature of the water which rose due to the eruption of the volcano killed the fish.

In the island-village at the foot of Taal Volcano, residents found their animals already dead and hardened by thick mud, produced by volcano ash and rainfall.

A group of men in Barangay Sala in Balete town tried rescuing more animals in Barangay Banga, Talisay town, but they were prohibited by Coast Guard personnel Wednesday.

“Siguro may isang daan pa ang mga kabayo doon… Wala na silang makain,” John Paul Silva, 18, a resident who volunteered rescuing animals, told the Manila Bulletin.

Motorists, including mediamen, planning to go to Agoncillo from Tanauan failed to reach their destination as Barangay Buso-Buso in Laurel, a town near Taal Volcano, was already placed on lockdown. Only personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways tasked to clear the roads and several policemen were seen along Tanauan-Talisay Road.

Residents trying to return home to get their belongings after they were evacuated also failed to pass through.

“Sabi naman maglalakad na lang po kami pa Agoncillo, pero di kami pinayagan (We advised to proceed to Agoncillo on foot, but eventually we were not allowed,” Anna Marie Vergara, 20, said.

On the other hand, part of Pansipit River in Barangay Tatlong Maria in Taal town went dry after it was covered by mud on Wednesday.

“Noon lagpas tao ‘to. Pero ngayon, tuyo na,” 74-year-old Jose Cortiñas, commonly known Lolo Peping, said, while standing on the mud blanketing the river.

Last Tuesday, residents were able to catch some 10 tubs of milkfish and tilapia from the river.

“Kahapon sobrang daming tao dito. Pinamimigay ko na nga lang yung mga isda, eh,” he said, adding that his eggplants, okra, and papaya plants were also buried by ashes.

More fissures due to constant earthquakes also appeared in various areas. Along the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway in Lemery, some 15-meter cracks were seen.

Many houses in Lemery, Talisay, and Agoncillo were either totally ruined, partly damaged, or just showed cracks on its floors and walls.

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