Calawit residents return to Taal Volcano Island to check on homes, livestock

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2020   •   1354

MANILA, Philippines – “Lubog na lahat.”

This was how several residents in Barangay Calawit in Balete, Batangas described the scene they saw when they returned to their homes in Taal Volcano Island despite threats of an imminent hazardous explosion.

Robert Cacao was among the residents who braved danger to check on their homes and livestock which is their means of living.

Using his boat, Cacao sailed the lake despite warnings issued by local authorities not to return home as Taal Volcano continues to spew ash.

He said he was hoping to save their animals and fetch personal belongings as they only carried their bare essentials when they fled their home on Sunday when Taal’s phreatic eruption started.

When he reached the shore, he was devastated to see his home destroyed and all his livestock killed.

He also felt crushed when he saw their entire barangay covered in ash, the tips of their homes only visible to the eye, and the once green and teeming island now looked dull, gray and barren.  

With nothing left to return to, he went back to the evacuation center in Bauan, Batangas to tell his family and neighbors of what he found in the island.

“Galing ho kami kanina sa bulkang Taal katunayan nga ho ay inabot kami duon ng putok ng bulkan. Binisita ho namin ang bahay doon, wala na ho lubog na. Tsaka ang buong isla na dating mapuno, ngayon ho ay puro lupa na,” he said.

He also found that all his live goats were dead, and the two boats he used to make a living in shambles.

“Hindi naman namin alam na gayo’y puputok na, nagtakbuhan na rin ho. Kaniya-kaniya ng likas ang nangyari,” he said.

Local authorities have prohibited evacuees from returning to their homes amid the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano.

Alert level 4 has been raised over Taal Volcano, which means that a hazardous eruption is imminent within hours or days.

Cacao feels lost as to how he and his family will recover from the disaster.

He also appealed to the government to help them build their homes and find new means of living.

“Nanawagan kami na sana kami ay matulungan na mga biktima ng pagputok ng bulkan,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

Taal Volcano records high-level of sulfur dioxide

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Taal Volcano has emitted a record-high level of sulfur dioxide (SO2) on Tuesday (October 5), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Based on the latest bulletin of Phivolcs, the volcano spewed out 25,456 tons of SO2 dominated by upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake. The volcanic activity also generated plumes 1,500 meters tall that drifted northwest and northeast.

Alert Level 2 remains over Taal Volcano. Phivolcs reminds the public that at Alert Level 2, sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).

Phivolcs has recommended that entry into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ must be strictly prohibited, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake. AAC

 

Taal Volcano records more sulfur dioxide emissions; alert level 2 remains

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — High sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission continues at Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

Based on the latest bulletin dated August 23 at 8:00 a.m., SO2 emission averaged 15,416 tonnes per day on August 22.

Vog was observed over the volcano and vicinity. There were also 27  volcanic earthquakes, including 17 volcanic tremor events with durations of two to 22 minutes and 10  low-frequency volcanic earthquakes.

Taal Volcano is still under alert level 2. Phivolcs warned that sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island.

Entry into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone or PDZ must be strictly prohibited.

Local government officials are advised to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.

 

Phivolcs records high sulfur dioxide emission at Taal Volcano

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — High sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission at Taal volcano was recorded on Thursday (August 19) by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Based on the August 19, 4:30 p.m. bulletin, the measurement of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 flux from the Taal Main Crater totaled 15,347 tonnes per day, marking a rising trend in volcanic SO2 degassing since August 13.

In the same period, tall steam-rich plumes that rose 1,000-3,000 meters were also generated by the Taal Main Crater.

“The high SO2 flux, water vapor emitted in plumes, weak air movement and solar radiation will continue to produce volcanic smog or vog over the Taal region,” Phivolcs reported.

Hazy conditions were also observed over Taal Lake and surrounding municipalities surrounding Taal Lake.

Phivolcs also received reports of adverse effects of the emission on some residents of Talisay and Brgy. Barigon, Agoncillo.

Vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract in severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure.

The agency also reminded the public to limit exposure, avoid outdoor activities, stay indoors, and shut doors and windows.

The public should also cover the nose, ideally with an N95 facemask. Drink plenty of water to reduce any throat irritation or constriction.

Phivolcs recommends that health checks be conducted by local government officials on communities affected by vog to assess the severity of SO2 impacts on their constituents and to consider temporary evacuation of severely exposed residents to safer areas.

Alert Level 2 (Increased Unrest) prevails over Taal Volcano and that the threat of sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island. -AAC

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