Philippine Locals Rescue Stranded Horses From Taal Volcano Island

Dozens of horses were rescued by locals from the Taal volcano island, as the Philippine volcano appeared to calm down, Thursday, January 16.

It’s the second-most active volcano in the Philippines, a designated permanent danger zone long declared off-limits to human settlements. Yet to more than 5,000 people the Taal volcano is home. A lush island dotted with dozens of craters in the middle of a shimmering lake, the volcano roared into action Sunday, January 12, with a mighty eruption that shot rocks, ash and steam miles into the sky just hours after the inhabitants of its four villages fled on a flotilla of boats.

A man who defied official warnings about the ongoing eruption to return to the island to check on his pigs, says there is complete devastation. So far no one has been reported killed in the eruption, but the disaster is spotlighting the longstanding dilemma of how the government can move settlements away from danger zones threatened by volcanoes, landslides, floods and typhoons in one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.