Volcano, Earthquake, Virus and now Floods………..!

By Kaytie Grant

On Sunday flash floods hit the Philippines bringing yet more devastation to an area that’s already suffered so much!

The area worst hit by these floods was Batangas, close to where the Taal Volcano erupted in January.  As well as causing a series of earthquakes over the weeks that followed the eruption, the Taal volcano also emitted a huge ash cloud, which covered the surrounding area for miles. The rain which hit the Philippines on Sunday then triggered a heavy mudflow, caused by the ash and volcanic debris deposited on the ground and it began gushing aggressively through the villages of Laurel, like a rapidly flowing river.

Although the floods only lasted a few hours they wreaked havoc on the villages, sweeping through homes and destroying much in their wake.

The people of Laurel and the surrounding villages have barely had the chance to rebuild and recover from the Taal volcano eruption, compounded by the challenge brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic – the Philippines has been in lockdown since 16th March, with restrictions gradually beginning to ease in the last week.

The floods have affected over 400 homes and families within the villages of Laurel, all of whom are now desperately trying to salvage furniture and possessions from their flooded homes, much of which has been irreparably damaged by the filthy mudflow.

While this recovery work goes on, we were concerned about the number of animals that may have been affected by these floods; it’s likely that both domestic and stray dogs have been displaced during the flooding and many will now be without food and shelter. Although the Covid-19 lockdown is beginning to ease there are still travel restrictions in place, which prevents us from sending a team down from Tarlac, where most of our staff are based, but fortunately we have one member of the team based in Batangas who has been able to help.

Today, Lynson took a small group of volunteers in to the worst affected area in Laurel, armed with a van load of food and essential meds. They arrived to chaotic scenes, as the residents were beginning the clear up, many having already had their homes damaged from the earthquakes earlier in the year. The IWCT team went off on foot, in search of any dogs who were in need of food or help. They were greeted by a great number of very hungry dogs and they very quickly distributed all the food they’d brought with them.

We only managed to cover one of the three villages today and so we need to go back to ensure no dog goes hungry, but for this we need your help. Please consider donating to these relief missions:

Help us support and feed these poor defenceless and hungry animals, who without us might not otherwise survive.

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