Laguna city turns Taal ashfall into bricks, to donate to eruption-hit residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020   •   1178

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Biñan City in Laguna is turning Taal Volcano’s ashfall into bricks that can be used to build houses and other structures.

Since the Taal ashfall on Sunday, January 12, the city’s Eco-Center material recovery facility has been making these bricks from the sacks of ash they collected from around the city.

The ashfall is mixed with recycled plastics, cement, water and whitesand. The mixture is then transferred into brick molds.

“Tawag namin dito Taal bricks eh. Naano namin saan namin dadalahin ang mga abo na yun. Nung hinawakan namin mapino, mas mapino pa sa white sand,” Rodelio Dee, head of City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said.

“Normally, iisipin mo diyan panambak di ba? Pero dapat may mas idea pa dito. So, ginamit namin siya sa paggawa ng bricks,” he added.

Dee said each brick is estimated to cost around four pesos to five pesos.

“Nagkaroon kami ng malaking savings sa paggamit ng ashfall. Unang-una, instead of buying itong white sand na ginagamit namin sa normal operation namin, itong ashfall libre. Sa aming computation is 45 to 50 percent of the cost ang aming nasi-save,” he said.

According to Dee, the city’s material recovery facility is capable of producing around 5,000 to 7,000 bricks a day.

The facility is also open to accepting sacks of ashfall from other towns to be turned into useful bricks.

Biñan City Mayor Arman Dimaguila said the ashfall bricks they made will be donated to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of Batangas towns heavily affected by the Taal Volcano eruption

“Ang plano, mag-stock pile kami ng marami, iipunin namin sa isang lugar. Kapag nakarecover na, on its way to recovery ang mga nasalanta ng Taal, ibabalik natin sa kanila,” he said.

“Ido-donate natin sa kanila, halimbawa, papagawa ng eskwelahan. Sige, amin na ho ang hollowblocks, papagawa ng pathways… bilang tulong,” he added. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

383 volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday maintained Alert level 2 over Taal Volcano as it recorded 383 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

Based on the latest bulletin, upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake occurred Tuesday morning (April 13) and 383 volcanic earthquakes, including 238 episodes of volcanic tremor lasting from one to 12 minutes occurred in the past 24 hours.

Phivolcs also said it continues to observe “a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption.”

The agency reminds local government units around the area to be vigilant and continuously assess the situation. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders,” the bulletin said. AAC

PHIVOLCS: 270 quakes recorded at Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 270 quakes, including 193 episodes of volcanic tremor having durations of up to 12 minutes, were recorded in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said Friday.

In its latest bulletin, PHIVOLCS said it also monitored 77 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, which is higher than the 25 recorded on the previous day.

The agency said it also observed weak emission of steam-laden plumes from fumarolic vents that rose up to 10 meters. Sulfur dioxide emission that averaged 925 tons per day was measured on Thursday.

“Ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR data analysis indicated a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region since after the January 2020 eruption,” PHIVOLCS said.

“These parameters may indicate increased magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice,” it added.

Despite increased seismic activities, PHIVOLCS said that Taal Volcano remains under alert level 2 which means “increased unrest.”

The agency noted that the unrest has been “elevating” and that it is under constant evaluation.

PHIVOLCS reminds the public that under alert level 2, “sudden steam-driven or phreatic 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 the island and its permanent danger zone, especially in the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must be strictly prohibited, the agency stressed.

Civil aviation authorities are also advised to inform pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.

Phivolcs maintains Alert Level 2 in Taal as possibility of magmatic eruption increases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday (March 24) warned about an increasing possibility of a magmatic eruption in Taal Volcano following an elevated increase in seismic activity.

In an advisory, Phivolcs said that since the Taal Volcano unrest in February, the overall volcanic activity has increased. The agency has recorded 259 volcanic earthquakes in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours.

In the previous week, sulfur oxide gas emission also reached a high peak compared to the previous month. 

There has also been an indication of magma migrating across shallow depths of the Taal Volcano island which increased the possibilities of a magmatic eruption, according to Phivolcs.

“Alert Level 2 (increased unrest) is currently maintained over Taal Volcano but that unrest has been elevating and is under constant evaluation,” according to Phivolcs.

The agency maintains an Alert Level 2 in Taal. It also reminds local government units to continuously assess and strengthen their preparation. Entry is prohibited on the Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinity of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure. -AAC

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