Since January 12, 2020, the Taal volcano has been observed generating a tall ash column that has been measured to reach up to 15 kilometers. This has affected the areas of CALABARZON, parts of Metro Manila, and other parts of Southern Luzon. Amidst the eruption of Taal, Waze, the community-driven navigation app, together with the Department of Transporation, CNN Philippines, and DZMM (630 AM) Radyo Patrol, have been working on a new crisis response feature.
The companies have been working together in order to keep motorists updated with the happenings in the vicinity of Taal Volcano. Waze's new feature updates users about road closures due to the volcano’s activity, aiding to streamline the process of evacuation in case a crisis occurs. The map comes with the added bonus of showing locations of evacuation centers, emergency shelters, and donation locations. Having this critical information can easily lead users to safe areas in the event of an eruption.
The application also informs the user if they are approaching a dangerous area. It also applies when the user wants to navigate to a location within the 14-km danger zone set by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The Waze Crisis Response team has set up the area as an evacuation zone on the map, as well. A notification will pop up to warn if the user will navigate to a destination within the exclusion zone.
An added bonus to the new feature is that it can aid with relief operations. It works by keeping track of official donation compounds around the user. To find these collections and distribution locations all the user has to do is type “Donate” into the application’s search bar and it will automatically show where the nearest area in which the user can drop off their goods.