Waze Announces Crisis Response Features for Taal Operations
January 12 marked a tragic day for the country, as the dormant Taal Volcano in Batangas started spewing harmful ashes and gases into the air. The 15-kilometer ash column caused by the eruption spread dangerous compounds such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide far and wide, even reaching as far as Metro Manila. The onslaught severely hampered way of life for many people, most especially those who live in close proximity to the volcano.
To aid in the relief operations, community-driven map app Waze’s Crisis Response team is working closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), CNN Philippines, and DZMM (630 AM) Radyo Patrol to provide assistance to as many as 308 different segments of road closures, 102 emergency shelters, and donation centers. Local Waze users are updated regularly with push notifications from the day the eruption started to the ongoing relief efforts. Users are being updated on the map should there be an increase in the number of new road closures due to Taal’s’ erratic activity.
Waze also set up the 14-km radius surrounding Taal Volcano as an evacuation area after the the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) designated it as a danger zone. Users who set their destination within this zone are alerted of the fact through an evacuation zone notification warning that pops up in their Waze app.
For those who would like to support the relief efforts and give donations, Waze also provides information on donation drop off centers. Users simply have to type ‘donate’ in the search bar, and the nearest drop off center will appear. Users can also choose from a list of drop off centers provided by the app.
To date, Waze users can choose from the following donation centers:
- 8001 Camia, Makati
- Padre Faura Street, Manila
- 55 C.P Garcia Avenue, Quezon City
- Samonte Park Rotunda, Cavite City, Cavite
- City Work Spaces 2nd Flr, DCR Bldg, Aguinaldo hwy, Imus, Cavite
- 8 Juan Luna, San Pedro
- NCST bldg., Aguinaldo Hway, Dasmariñas, Cavite
- Unit 1, Contemprato Building, Sugar road, Carmona, Cavite
- Pedro R. Sandoval Avenue, Los Baños
- Governor Pack Road, Baguio
- Selected McDonald's stores
Since January 12, the phreatic explosion of Taal Volcano has been observed generating up to a 15-kilometer ash column. This has affected the regions of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Metro Manila and parts of Southern Luzon. Motorists are advised to practice extra precaution while driving in these regions, due to poor visibility and slippery roads.