Singapore Red Cross gives $67,000 to victims of Taal volcano, launches public appeal for donations

The Philippine Red Cross has mobilised more than 850 personnel on the ground. PHOTO: SINGAPORE RED CROSS/ FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore Red Cross Society (SRC) will be giving around $67,400 to support humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines, to help the victims affected by the eruption of the Taal volcano.

The charity said on Wednesday (Jan 22) that it will also be launching a public fund-raising appeal and all donations raised will go towards supporting relief and recovery operations by the Philippine Red Cross.

The Philippine Red Cross has mobilised more than 850 personnel on the ground. SRC said it is in close contact with its Philippine counterparts and is ready to deploy a response team if necessary.

Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and CEO of SRC, said: "Because of the unpredictability of the volcano, there is much uncertainty surrounding the situation.

"According to the Philippine Red Cross, power is out in most of the affected region and many roads are impassable. Ashfall, rain, slippery roads and low visibility are also slowing down evacuations. The first priority of the Philippine Red Cross is to address urgent needs and to provide support to those made homeless."

Members of the public can make their donations via a few platforms. Online donations can be done at this Red Cross site, cash donations can be made at the Red Cross House and cheque donations are payable to "Singapore Red Cross Society". The back of the cheque should have the donor's name, postal address and the words "Taal Volcano Eruption".

Taal, located about 60km south of Manila on the island of Luzon, is one of the the world's smallest volcanoes - it rises just 3m above sea level and has a lake-filled opening about 20km by 15km across.

Even so, it is considered among the world's most dangerous and is the second most active volcano in the Philippines.

One eruption in 1754 lasted six months, and another in 1911 took 1,335 lives.

In the past 450 years, Taal has recorded at least 34 major and minor eruptions.

Taal volcano was dormant for 40 years before the eruption on Jan 12 and as of as of Jan 16, 42,817 individuals have been displaced across 270 evacuation centres in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna.

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