Sandrine Fievez has been expatriated in the Philippines for a year and a half. She lives in Bonifacio Global City, in the big suburbs of the capital, Manila, about sixty kilometers from the Taal volcano. A volcano that Sandrine knows well, since she has already been there on an excursion.
Since he woke up, the show has been quite different from his souvenir photos. For several hours, the volcano has been spewing lava and a gigantic column of ash and smoke. Ashes that spread to Manila, as the Namuroise explains.
“There are ashes, like black sand, everywhere in the streets, even on my terrace, on cars, in gardens, in swimming pools. There is also a strong smell of sulfuric acid. When we go out, we feel it right away“.
Since yesterday, measures have multiplied to protect the population. 45,000 people have been evacuated. In Manila and in a large area around the volcano, the population wears most of the time masks or uses, failing that, handkerchiefs or towels. Many are also confined to their homes.
“My company has given everyone time off to keep people safe, ” explains Sandrine Fievez. “In the Philippines, people travel very far to go to work and some come from this area and they explain that at home it is a disaster. Some have moved into their families“She too remains confined to her home, even if she lives 60 kilometers from the volcano.”We cut the airco and we stay inside. Normally, one should only be concerned with ashes. It’s really special because we’re helpless, we’re waiting, we’re expecting and we don’t know what’s going to happen and when. It’s like typhoons.“And Sandrine knows what she is talking about. In a year and a half, this is the third time she has experienced a climate disaster in the Philippines.
“It’s still a little disturbing. In 2018, I experienced a typhoon. In 2019, an earthquake and now this is special. In Belgium, we don’t realize. Here, we feel really helpless, we watch and we wait. Fortunately, I am not one of those poor people who are forced to evacuate. “