BATANGAS, Philippines – It's been more than a week since people living in the cities and towns around Taal Lake fled their homes after Taal Volcano began erupting.
The volcano is still restive, and the threat of a hazardous, explosive eruption remains imminent. This means more than 148,000 people living in Batangas and parts of neighboring Cavite are unable to go home.
As local governments try to enforce a lockdown of their cities and towns, many residents try to force or sneak their way in, worried about the state of their homes, properties, and livestock that they've had to leave behind.
In evacuation centers, relief goods are still pouring in. But there's no telling how long the volcano will remain restive, and how long people will keep staying in basketball courts, school houses, and other places that are okay for now but will surely take a toll on their well-being if they end up staying longer.
These are the questions we will seek to answer in the coming days. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.