Social media unites netizens to help those affected by Taal Volcano eruption

Social Media
Social media went from coverage to information campaign to giving help to those affected by the eruption. Photos by Marjun Palmes Villanueva and Al-Jerr Had Hijara Nadonza

Taal Look and social media. The social media world covered yesterday’s eruption of Taal volcano in my country. For a few minutes, people posted the spectacular view of the ash spewing volcano. But an hour after, people posted safety-related information and precautionary measures, reminding everyone to stay safe and to wear masks to avoid the sulfur fumes and the micro-particles that contaminated the air. Others notified and checked on families, relatives, and friends who are living near the area.

Some of my friends from a nearby town, but far from the dangerous zone, used social media to call the survivors to take refuge in their disaster evacuation center. This morning, a friend used social media to look for a contact from the ground for a food donation whilst another friend, who happened to be in the area, posted how they offered a ride to the elderly survivors who walked for hours away from the danger zone.

These demonstrated the positive use of social media which we have taken for granted. It reminded us that social media is a potent tool to help others and our communities. But how we use it will really depend on us. Social media is only a platform, we are the power behind it.

Let us not use social media to hide ourselves like the way we use the masks right now. Let us use it to help others and to restore our sense of humanity.

(This Facebook post about the events that followed after Taal Volcano in Batangas province erupted on January 12, 2020, is published with permission from the author.)

TELL US in the comments below how social media has been used to help in crisis situations?

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Romeo "Toto" Dela Cruz Jr. is a cultural activist, former National Commission for Culture and the Arts commissioner, and UP student leader who now works in the creative economy sector.