PHIVOLCS warns of possible 'hazardous eruption' within hours to days

Photo courtesy of Romel Lopez

After ashfall and lava gushed out of Taal volcano, officials of Batangas Provincial Capitol, where the volcano is located, declared the province under a state of calamity yesterday, January 13.

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 4 as the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) raised its status Sunday evening, which means "hazardous eruption" is possible within hours to days. The alert system has five levels with Alert Level 5 meaning a hazardous eruption is in progress.

The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of 212 volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region as of 2:00 a.m. of January 14, 2020. 81 of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V in Tagaytay City and Cavite. "Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity."

More evacuees

As of Tuesday, 6,981 families or 30,423 individuals have been evacuated due to Taal Volcano's unrest, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

Mayor Norberto Segunial Jr. of Sta. Teresita, Batangas, appealed to the national government to send food and water as evacuees from nearby areas affected by the Taal volcano’s eruption continued to troop to their municipality.

Extra precautions

"DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates that total evacuation of Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal Main Crater must be enforced," said in a recent statement.

Classes in all levels and government offices in some areas have been suspended due to heavy ashfall from Taal Volcano. Malacañang, meanwhile, encouraged the private sector to suspend work "for the safety of their employees."

Thousands of passengers were also stranded at various international airports after it was temporarily closed due to safety concerns.

A flight carrying President Rodrigo Duterte and neophyte Senator Bong Go was the first to land at the airport on Monday after their Sunday flight from Davao City to Manila was canceled due to the eruption.

Meanwhile, motorists are strictly advised to drive with extreme caution as ash can cause zero visibility, following the death of a truck driver when he lost control of the steering wheel in Laguna. The incident also inflicted three more injured truck helpers when it hit a concrete post along the national road on Monday.

Tulong Kabataan

Various groups such as Kabataan Party-list, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Southern Tagalog Serve The People Corps have started calling for donations on Monday to help the victims.

Ready-to-eat food, bottled water, clothes, face masks are among the urgent needs of the victims. Further details on how to donate are available on their respective Facebook pages.

#TaalEruption2020

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