Emirati and Filipino volunteers prepare to send aid to volcano-hit communities

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Volunteers packed boxes filled with essentials on Saturday as the UAE prepared to send an aid shipment to families fleeing the Taal volcano.

Emiratis and Filipinos readied boxes destined for villagers who left their homes on and around the island volcano.

Taal continued to spew steam at the weekend and seismologists recorded hundreds of volcanic earthquakes under the island. The tremors suggest the boiling of groundwater, which could exit as steam or an explosion.

"Today, we saw humanity and tolerance unfold through the Emirates Red Crescent's campaign that brought our citizens together with Filipino residents to provide aid to families affected by the Taal volcano in the Philippines," , Vice President and Ruler of , wrote on Twitter.

"Humanity defines our society."

Images of thousands of Filipinos queuing for food and water in makeshift camps have spurred offers of help from far and wide. The UAE is home to more than 700,000 Filipinos.

Writing last week, Sheikh , Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the UAE would help victims of the volcano in any way it could.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Philippines after the eruption of the Taal volcano," he wrote on Twitter.

"We pray that these tough times are over with the least losses. The UAE stands in solidarity with the Philippines in these difficult times and is ready to provide all support and assistance."

Fishermen make repairs to their operations affected by the ash-fall from the eruption of the Taal volcano, in Buso Buso on January 20. The incident has led to decimated fish, scarred coffee plants and vanished tourists: Ed Jones / AFP

Residents, who refuse to evacuate, queue for relief goods following Taal Volcano's eruption, in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines on January 20. Joseph Campbell / Reuters

Children displaced by the eruption watch television at an evacuation centre in Santo Tomas. Philippine authorities warm the volcano could be "recharging" for a more powerful explosion. Ed Jones / AFP

Residents, who refuse to evacuate, queue for relief goods. Joseph Campbell / Reuters

White steam emits from Taal volcano crater as seen from a Philippine airforce helicopter during an aerial survey. Ted Aljibe / AFP

White steam emits from Taal volcano crater as seen from a Philippine airforce helicopter during an aerial survey. Ted Aljibe / AFP

White steam emits from Taal volcano crater as seen from a Philippine airforce helicopter during an aerial survey. Ted Aljibe / AFP

Updated: January 25, 2020 10:50 PM

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