IN PHOTOS: 'We will rise'

BATANGAS, Philippines – With a towel wrapped around his shoulders, Renato Agoho gathered all that his family could salvage at home before moving on to the evacuation center. "We were able to get through the checkpoint. They're not allowing anyone to come in anymore. We're just salvaging what we have left here," Renato said.

Renato and his family of 6 live at Barangay Pamiga, Agoncillo, which is directly inside the designated 14-km "danger zone" of Taal. They are one of the families whose houses were affected by the fissures.

Fissures indicate that the upper layer of the volcano had already depressurized, causing the magma inside to rise. This could lead to a hazardous eruption, though as of Thursday afternoon, January 16, started showing "weak" emission.

The fissures were reportedly found in several areas of Batangas – one being in Agoncillo.

NEW LANDSCAPE. Large fissures appear in some roads in Barangay Bangin, Agoncillo, Batangas on January 15, 2020.

NEW LANDSCAPE. Large fissures appear in some roads in Barangay Bangin, Agoncillo, Batangas on January 15, 2020.

 

HOME NO MORE. The entrance to the house of Renato Agoho.

HOME NO MORE. The entrance to the house of Renato Agoho.

 

COLLAPSED. The San Teodoro covered court in Barangay San Teodoro, Agoncillo, Batangas on January 15.

COLLAPSED. The San Teodoro covered court in Barangay San Teodoro, Agoncillo, Batangas on January 15.

 

RUBBLE. A building of Agoncillo Senior High School in Barangay Pamiga sustains major damage from the fissures.

RUBBLE. A building of Agoncillo Senior High School in Barangay Pamiga sustains major damage from the fissures.

Prior to evacuating, they already noticed the cracks appearing in their house. Renato's family already left their animals, trusting that they would have higher chances of survival if they were to focus on themselves.

Around 40,000 people or 9,500 families in Batangas and Cavite were affected by the eruption of the Taal Volcano, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Officials said a number of residents have begun returning to their homes close to the volcano. They were trying to salvage what they could, including personal belongings and livestock.

LEFT BEHIND. A goat peers through a fence behind a collapsed covered court in Barangay Bangin, Agoncillo, Batangas.

LEFT BEHIND. A goat peers through a fence behind a collapsed covered court in Barangay Bangin, Agoncillo, Batangas.

 

PACKED AND READY TO GO. Renato Agoho with his salvaged belongings on January 15.

PACKED AND READY TO GO. Renato Agoho with his salvaged belongings on January 15.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself declared the entire Taal Volcano island off-limits.

Asked what Renato and his family would do next, he quipped, "We will rise." – Rappler.com