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Operation Blessing Helps Filipinos Fleeing Potential 'Volcanic Tsunami'

01-13-2020
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Taal volcano spews ash in view from Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerrard Carreon)
Taal volcano spews ash in view from Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerrard Carreon)

Authorities in the Philippines are warning that a "volcanic tsunami" may be possible after a volcano near the country's capital erupted.

Taal Volcano, a favorite tourist destination in the Philippines, is now wreaking havoc after it erupted Sunday, spewing scorching hot lava, mud, and ash that reached far areas including the capital city of Manila. Tens of thousands of Filipinos in the pathway of the volcano have fled their homes and businesses. 
    
CBN's Operation Blessing is on the scene and is among the first to respond to the needs of the evacuees.

Soledad Eugenio and her husband shared their frightening experience when the volcano erupted and spewed rocks and mud towards their village. Their home is near the lake surrounding the volcano. 

Soledad said the tremors were very strong. "It felt like our house would collapse! We did not want to leave our house and animals but the police came and forced us to evacuate," she explained. 

Soledad and her husband are among tens of thousands of villagers who had to flee to evacuation centers as lava and ash from Taal Volcano - one of the world's smallest volcanoes - continued to erupt reaching even the capital city of Manila.  

Operation Blessing Philippines responded right away by distributing much-needed dust masks and food packs. The president of the humanitarian organization Peter Kairuz, was also present to look into the needs of the evacuees.

"Actually today we are doing an ocular to determine the needs of all the people here and what was told us the number one needs are mats, and then blankets, sleepers, diapers for the kids, and then personal hygiene kits which Operation Blessing will start to bring every day this week to do relief work amongst the people here," Kairuz explained.

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He also blessed the people by praying for them.

An ambulance transported a woman named Cristy and her five grandchildren to an evacuation center where they lined up with other evacuees to receive food and clothes from Operation Blessing. It alleviated some of the discomforts they felt after leaving their homes for an evacuation center.
 
Operation Blessing will continue to bring much-needed relief and medical assistance in the days ahead as more explosive eruptions are expected.

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