PHIVOLCS appeals for patience as Taal Volcano continues to shows signs of danger

Marje Pelayo   •   January 20, 2020   •   625

MANILA, Philippines – Intense volcanic activities are still being recorded around Taal Volcano while it continues to spew white ash.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), these are signs that the volcano is still an element of danger.

Ground shaking has become frequent as PHIVOLCS recorded more than 700 tremors on Sunday (January 19) alone.

Fissures are also becoming more and more visible in different areas, which PHIVOLCS explained, are signs of rising magma.

Baka lang kasi akala ng mga tao humuhupa lang, pero sa indikasyon na dumadami ang gas, diyan natin pinapakita maliban sa lindol at iyong pamamaga ng bulkan na mayroong laman doon sa ilalim (People might think it is calming down but increasing gas emission, aside from tremors and the swelling of the volcano ground are indications that something is underneath),” PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum explained.

Baka iyon ang maging dahilan ng mga biglaang pagsabog kasi open system na iyong volcano (Those might cause the eruption because the volcano is already an open system),” he added.

Also, Taal Volcano is still producing kilometers tall ash pillars and a high level of sulfur dioxide, about 1,000 tons per day, similar to the amount that Mayon Volcano produced before its major eruption in the past.

PHIVOLCS noted that said amount can mean danger.

Mataas po iyan. Kung naaalala ninyo po sa Mayon, iyong ganiyang values ay pumuputok ang bulkan (That’s high. If you remember, Mayon showed similar values when it erupted),” noted PHIVOLCS Chief of Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD) Ma. Antonia Bornas.

So, may nagde-degas na shallow magma. So, anytime, kapag mababaw ang magma, maaari po itong pumutok na wala po tayong masyadong paunang babala (That means shallow magma is degassing. So when magma becomes shallow, it might erupt without prior warning),” he added.

READ: Danger remains as volcanic activities increase in Taal

State weather agency PAGASA explained that areas in the western or southern section of the volcano might be affected by heavy ashfall should Taal Volcano produce ash pillars of about three kilometers tall.

Also, based on the agency’s wind forecast, volcanic ash might reach several areas in Cavite should the volcano produce ash column higher than three kilometers.

However, should a major explosion occur and the volcano emitted ash pillar higher than five kilometers, the ash fall might affect Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal and parts of Northern Quezon.

Solidum confirmed that the strongest ground shaking recorded so far was felt in Mabini, Batangas, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake at around 8:59 p.m. on Sunday (January 19).

Solidum said the tremor was caused by the movement of the fault.

He said the fault last moved in April 2017 and it was again activated due to the eruption of the Taal volcano.

PHIVOLCS reiterates its call to residents to stay away from the 14-kilometer danger zone while they are still observing the state of Taal Volcano.

Should volcanic activities wane within two weeks, PHIVOLCS said they might decide to downgrade the alert level over Taal volcano island. MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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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