Families affected by the restive Taal Volcano has climbed to 103,443 or equivalent to 394,094 persons in the four Calabarzon (Region 4-A) provinces, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.
In its 6 a.m. update Monday, the NDRRMC said 38,377 families or around 137,447 persons from the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Quezon, are temporarily sheltered in 532 evacuation centers while the rest are staying with either friends or relatives and being aided outside.
NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad on Sunday said residents living outside the 7-kilometer danger could return to their homes after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday lowered the alert status of Taal Volcano to 3 from 4, two weeks after it erupted on January 12.
The lowering of the alert status enabled local government units to allow some of the evacuees to return to their homes.
Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas has given residents of towns and cities in the province, except Agoncillo and Laurel which are still under lockdown, an option to return to their homes or work.
Towns, where residents have an option to return, are Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Lemery, Lipa City, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay, and Tanauan City. The volcano island remains under permanent lockdown. (PNA)