Danger remains despite Taal volcano in ‘lull’ — PHIVOLCS

Marje Pelayo   •   January 16, 2020   •   528

MANILA, Philippines – Taal volcano is showing signs of hiatus but the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) says this can mean two things: its volcanic activity is waning or it is just “resting” before a major explosive eruption.

The agency appeals to residents to refrain from returning to risk areas until they have determined the true state of Taal Volcano.

PHIVOLCS Chief of Volcano Monitoring and Prediction Division (VMPD) Maria Antonia Bornas revealed in a press briefing on Thursday (January 16) that indeed, activities on the surface of Taal volcano have started to wane as compared to its activities on Sunday (January 12).

But the situation remains uncertain, thus the agency is still observing the volcano, particularly the swelling of the ground surface which is an indication of rising magma that could lead to a massive eruption.

Mas gusto nga sana natin na matapos na. Kung puputok man siya ng malakas, pumutok na sana para tapos na (We all want this to end. If it is going to erupt explosively, we hope it does soon so this could finally end),” Bornas said.

Kaso kung katulad po ng 1754 na may cycles, talaga na tatahimik. Magkakaroon ng low level activity tapos magkaka-lull, tapos biglang puputok ng malakas and then another cycle (However, it could be similar to what happened in 1754 where there were cycles of low-level activity, a lull, and then a sudden strong explosion, after which, another cycle begins),” he further explained.

PHIVOLCS asked residents to be more patient because until now, Taal Volcano is showing signs of danger thus Alert Level 4 remains in effect.

These can be seen from satellite images acquired by PHIVOLCS from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that the volcano’s main crater lake has already dried up.

Also, the agency captured the volcano spewing a lava fountain on Monday (January 13).

PHIVOLCS asked the public to refrain from entering the 14-kilometer danger zone because the volcano may still erupt at any time and the risk of a base surge is high.

“Among scientists, we always say that evacuation is a political decision we can only advise,” the official said.

Masyadong mahirap na desisyon para sa mga local government official masyadong maraming factors silang kinoconsider hindi lang po science (The decision is more crucial for local government officials because they need to consider several factors other than science),” she added.

The agency advised the public to consult PHIVOLCS’ Hazard Hunter application online – hazardhunter.georisk.gov.ph.

The app can help identify risk areas and the potential hazards that may occur once Taal Volcano proceeds to its major explosive eruption. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

UNTV Cup players to join Wish Olympics

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2020

Julius Casaysayan of Agriculture Food Masters

MANILA, Philippines — Players from UNTV Cup – the Liga of Public Servants – are set to join the Wish Olympics, a charity sports and entertainment event for the benefit of the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

Among the players are PNP Responders’ Mariano “Neil Perez” Flormata Jr. and Anton Tolentino, Julius Casaysayan of Agriculture Food Masters, Rod William Vasallo of PITC Global Traders and Carlo Gonzalez of GSIS Furies.

PBA Legends and UNTV Cup Commissioners Atoy Co and Ed Cordero, as well as PBA Legends Allan Caidic, Johnny Abarrientos, Jayjay Helterbrand, Chris Calaguio, and Willie Miller, will also be gracing the event and extend their support.

Spearheaded by Wish 107.5 innovator and public service advocate, Kuya Daniel Razon, Wish Olympics will be held on February 23, 2020, at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Rod William Vasallo of PITC Global Traders

It is aimed at extending more charity works to the people of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna who have been severely affected by the explosion of the Taal Volcano.

Since the first week of the calamity, UNTV and the Members Church of God International, together with local and national government agencies have been carrying out medical missions and relief efforts for the victims.

Razon said he realizes the enormity of the eruption’s aftermath and that it will take months before the evacuees could carry on again with their normal lives.

This, he said, prompted him to think of ways to better extend assistance to the victims, and such is by way of the said sports and entertainment event.

PNP Responders’ Mariano “Neil Perez” Flormata Jr.

It will be participated in by artists like Morisette, Imago, Clara Benin, Jayda, The Juans, The Wishfuls, Rhea Basco, Mark Herras, JayR, Rayver Cruz, Ejay Falcon, Young JV, Jordan Herrera, Adrian Alandy, James Blanco, Albie Casino, Gerhard Acao and Axel Torres.

Professional volleyball players and TV/movie personalities such as Gretchen Ho, Kathy Bersola, Claudia Barretto, Gwen Zamora, Roma Joy Doromal, Che Sindayen, Jem Ferrer, Patcharee Saengmuang, Sandy Delos Santos, Aya Fernandez, Casey Da Silva, Ana Gopico, Amanda Villanueva, Nicole Tiamzon, Heather Guino-o, and Erika Alkuino will also team up for a friendly volleyball match.

PHIVOLCS may further downgrade alert level over Taal Volcano next week

Marje Pelayo   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported only about 29 volcanic earthquakes around Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours, an indication that rocks underground are breaking.

A column of white steam also continues to form but only up to 50 meters in height.

It has been a week since PHIVOLCS downgraded alert level over the Taal volcano to level 2 from the previous level 3.

According to PHIVOLCS OIC Usec. Renato Solidum, they need to observe Taal volcano’s activities for one more week before they can decide whether to further downgrade the alert status based on the agency’s standard operating procedure.

“Basta tuloy-tuloy ang kanyang mga parametro na bumababa ang bilang pwede natin masabi na pwede nating ibaba ito sa alert level number one (If the parameters continue to reduce in number, we might lower the alert level to number one),” Solidum said.

Entry restrictions remain within the permanent danger zone in Taal Volcano Island.

Solidum said the local government unit needs to assess first if the former residential areas would be conducive for living.

PHIVOLCS does not recommended constructing houses on the volcano island due to the risk of having the ground break apart should the volcano proceed to erupt. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Magnitude 5.4 quake rattles Davao Occidental

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.


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