Philippines – January 15 2020

Children's Village near volcano evacuated

As a major eruption of the Taal volcano appears imminent, SOS Children's Villages Philippines evacuated nearly all children and staff from the children's village in Lipa on Wednesday.   

The village is about 30 kilometers from the Taal volcano, which started spewing ash and lava on Sunday. 

“It has become too much of a risk to stay longer in the village, that is why we have decided to move the families to the nearest children’s village in Metro Manila,” says Johnald M. Lasin, village director of SOS Children's Village Lipa. “We are implementing full evacuation protocol to ensure the safety of the families.”

So far, 82 of the 115 children and young people in SOS Children’s Village Lipa have been moved to the SOS Children's Village in Manila since Tuesday, including five retired SOS mothers and eight current mothers. The remaining children, young people and mothers will be transferred Thursday morning.

The decision to fully evacuate the Lipa village was made after warnings from the government that a major eruption appears imminent. The government expanded the danger zone around the volcano to a 17 km radius and Lipa City has now been included in a high-risk prone area.

Upon their arrival at SOS Children’s Village Manila, children and staff were welcomed by SOS Children’s Village Manila’s Village Director Raymond Rimando. And after a short briefing, the children and mothers were guided to the homes where they will be staying temporarily.

Families in Lipa City who receive support from SOS Children’s Villages Philippines are prepared to go to one of the evacuation centres in the event of a major eruption. Mr Lasin says their concern is that, as most businesses are closed, their ability to earn a living is difficult. "We need support the families by bringing provisions, especially food and hygiene materials,” he says.

Visit the SOS Children's Villages Philippines website