Residents on Taal Volcano island evacuated over seismic activity

Marje Pelayo   •   February 16, 2021   •   541

BATANGAS, Philippines — Authorities started evacuating residents on Taal Volcano island over the recent seismic activity and changes in the volcano’s main crater lake.

They live within the island which is supposed to be a ‘no man’s land,’ particularly those in two communities in the municipality of Talisay.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the evacuation was a precautionary move.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) OIC Renato Solidum said that he recommended the restriction of people on the whole island.

Earlier, Phivolcs has recorded 98 volcanic tremors in the past 24 hours having durations of five to 12 minutes.

The agency also monitored an increase in acidity and temperature of the Taal Volcano’s main crater lake.

Alert level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect with the possibility of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal expulsions of volcanic gas occurring and threatening areas within the Taal Volcano island.

Phivolcs strongly advised the public against entering the Taal Volcano island, its permanent danger zone (PDZ), especially its main crater lake and fissures in Daang Kastila, due to the danger posed by the volcano’s recent activities. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Alert Level 2 raised over Taal Volcano amid ‘increasing unrest’

Marje Pelayo   •   March 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Alert Level 2 has been raised over Taal Volcano on Tuesday (March 9) amid “increasing unrest.”

In its latest bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that a total of 28 volcanic tremor episodes, four low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and one hybrid earthquake  at shallow depths of less than 1.5 kilometers beneath Taal Volcano Island were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Also, volcanic tremors have increased seismic energy compared to previously recorded episodes and ranged between three to 17 minutes in duration. 

“The total number of volcanic tremor events has risen to 866 since the onset of increased activity on February 13,” PHIVOLCS said.

“In addition to these, a total of 141 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes have occurred within one kilometer depths beneath the volcano island and immediate vicinity,” it added.

The agency said seismic activity in the past month indicates increased magmatic and hydrothermal activity at shallow depths beneath the volcano island.

This means there is probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption, the agency noted.

With this development, the PHIVOLCS stressed that entry into Taal Volcano Island remains strictly prohibited as it is considered a permanent danger zone. 

Evacuation, however, is not yet recommended, the agency said,

Pangambang sumabog ang Mt. Taal matapos ang malakas na lindol sa Batangas, pinawi ng Phivolcs

Robie de Guzman   •   December 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Pinawi ng Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) ang pangamba hinggil sa muling pagsabog ng bulkang Taal kasunod ng magnitude 6.3 na lindol na yumanig sa Calatagan, Batangas pasado alas-7 Biyernes ng umaga.

Ayon kay PHIVOLCS director, Undersecretary Renato Solidum, maliit ang posibilidad na magkaroon ng epekto sa bulkan ang malakas na lindol bagaman patuloy pa nila itong inoobserbahan.

Binigyang-diin rin ni Solidum na sumabog na ang bulkan ngayong taon at malalim ang naramdamang lindol kaninang umaga.

Siguro pagdating doon sa fault baka wala, kasi hindi naman ito ganoon kalaki at malalim siya masyado. Pero pagdating sa Taal Volcano, kasi katatapos lang ng kanyang eruption, oobserbahan natin kung may epekto talaga ito,” ang pahayag ni Solidum.

“Titingnan natin kung magre-react ang Taal Volcano, pero dapat nating maaalala, matandaan, na nasa alert level 1 pa lang naman siya,” dagdag pa niya.

Magugunitang noong buwan ng Enero 2020 ay itinaas sa alert level 4 ang Taal matapos itong magbuga ng abo.

Sa ngayon ay nasa alert level 1 ang bulkan na ang ibig sabihin ay bahagyang pagtaas ng volcanic activity gaya ng gas o steam emission at mga pagyanig. Ipinagbabawal din ang pagpasok sa permanent danger zone ng bulkan.

Paliwanag ng ahensiya, gumalaw ang Manila trench kaya’t naramdaman ang pagyanig sa Metro Manila.

Tiniyak din ng PHIVOLCS na walang direktang epekto ang lindol sa Batangas sa West Valley Fault.

Bukod sa Metro Manila, Batangas at Laguna, naramdaman rin ang lindol sa ilang bahagi ng Rizal at Northern Luzon.

DOT condemns another ‘reckless’ beach party in Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has condemned another reckless social gathering held in a beach resort in Batangas City on Monday, December 7.

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) condemns yet another reckless social gathering organized at a tourism establishment, this time at the Blue Coral Beach Resorts Inc. in Barangay Laiya, San Juan, Batangas,” the DOT said in a statement.

The Tourism Department said the mass gathering was documented by concerned individuals.

The video showed a group partying without following healthy safety guidelines, including wearing of face masks and face shields, as well as the observance of physical distancing.

The event was immediately reported to the office of the Mayor of San Juan, and was promptly responded to by the local chief executive.

“Ang IATF po sa pangunguna po ng ating Mayor ay ipinahinto po ang party. Mayroon po kaming mga ipinadala po na mga pulis po doon sa area para po magawan ng paraan na hindi na maituloy po kung ano man po yung kanilang ginagawa,” said Amie Maulion, the Executive Assistant of the Mayor.

The local government on Tuesday imposed the necessary sanctions on the involved establishment.

“Pursuant to IATF Resolution No. 13 dated December 08, 2020, due to repeated violation of the IATF protocols and failure to comply with their Undertaking dated October 23, 2020, Business Permit of Blue Coral Beach Resort, Laiya Aplaya, San Juan, Batangas is hereby CANCELLED/REVOKED,” reads the memorandum order of San Juan Municipal Mayor and IATF Chairman Ildebrando Salud.

“The DOT lauds the local government leaders of San Juan for taking the necessary action to revoke the business permit and file the appropriate charges to the erring establishment, whose operations were first suspended from September 2 to 17, 2020 after a violation of IATF-EID health protocols,” the DOT statement reads.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reminds all accommodation and tourism-establishments in Batangas, and in other destinations that have reopened, to follow health and safety protocols at all times.

She also warned that erring establishments will face criminal charges by the concerned local government and the department. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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