Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

UAE ready to help Philippines with volcano fallout, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi says

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed tweeted support as a new ash cloud sparked fears of an eruption

Filipinos scramble for bottled water in a town near the Taal volcano on Sunday, January 19. Many poor families living near the volcano have been warn they must leave the area as the chance of an eruption remains high. Aaron Favila / AP
Filipinos scramble for bottled water in a town near the Taal volcano on Sunday, January 19. Many poor families living near the volcano have been warn they must leave the area as the chance of an eruption remains high. Aaron Favila / AP

The Emirates stand ready to help the people of the Philippines, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, after a new ash cloud sparked concerns of an eruption.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, spoke of his support as evacuees from the danger zone flooded into camps in need of food and water on Sunday.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Philippines after the eruption of the Taal volcano," the Crown Prince said on Twitter.

"We pray that these tough times are over with the least losses. The UAE stands in solidarity with the Philippines in these difficult times and is ready to provide all support and assistance."

The Crown Prince also wrote the message in Tagalog. It is estimated there are more than 700,000 Filipinos in the Emirates, making it one of the largest expatriate communities.

More than 70,000 people have been evacuated since the Taal began spewing clouds of ash, steam and gas on January 12.

The volcano alert level remains at four out of five, which means that "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days".

The island has long been designated a national park that is off-limits to permanent villages, but poor villagers have lived and worked there for decades in tourism-related industries.

On Sunday, Philippine officials said the government will not allow villagers to return to the a crater-studded island where the erupting volcano lies, warning that living there would be “like having a gun pointed at you."

Updated: January 20, 2020 10:31 AM

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