Decimated fish, scarred coffee plants and vanished tourists: the Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines has inflicted significant damage on the livelihoods of tens of thousands and is expected to cause more.
When Taal exploded to life Sunday it spewed towering columns of fine grey ash, which officials said destroyed crops and killed off potentially tonnes of fish raised in the lake that rings the volcano.
“We lost a lot of money because all our fish are gone,” said Cesario Rodriguez, 34, a fish farmer. “We just need to find a way to survive.”
It didn’t help either when government health officials warned people not to eat the fish as it could have been contaminated with volcanic sulphur, though the nation’s health agency told AFP no formal ban is in place.
The warning of a further, potentially catastrophic eruption, also led authorities to urge the thriving tourism industry near the volcano — a popular attraction — to suspend activity as a precaution.