Sotto pushes for long-term rehab plan for Batangas after Taal volcano eruption

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020   •   693

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Vicente Sotto III is urging his fellow lawmakers and policy-makers to start drawing up a comprehensive long-term plan for the rehabilitation of the province of Batangas after the eruption of Taal Volcano.

In a statement, Sotto said that while the government had started implementing short-term strategies to address the immediate needs of residents affected by the residents, these would not be enough to help the province get back on its feet again.

“We have to start pooling our ideas to rehabilitate Batangas. We need permanent solutions to resolve post-disaster concerns and help Batangueños recover,” he said.

The senator said the government should be ready to implement rehabilitation programs once Taal Volcano quiets down, and experts declare that the threat of a hazardous eruption is 100 percent over.

He also highlighted the need to address issues on housing, infrastructure, and livelihood, which he stressed will be the top three concerns of the provincial government.

Sotto said the long-term rehabilitation plans should include the provision of temporary and permanent homes to eruption-hit families, repair of roads, buildings and other infrastructures; and small and medium enterprise opportunities, among others.

“Let us not forget the hard lessons we have learned from the rehabilitation of Tacloban and Marawi. We did not have ready programs to help those who were affected by these tragedies, to the chagrin of the residents who relied heavily on the government to help them get back on their feet again,” Sotto said.

The Senate President noted that hundreds of thousands of families living in towns surrounding the Taal Volcano lost their homes and livelihood after thick layers of ashes belched by the volcano on January 12 blanketed their houses.

Their animals and pets were also killed, while volcanic quakes and fissures damaged roads and bridges in several towns.

Businesses have also remained closed, adversely impacting the sources of income of workers.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday, January 26 lowered Taal Volcano’s alert level, which means a decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption.

However, Phivolcs said that “this should not be interpreted that the unrest has ceased or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared.”

The agency explained it downgraded the alert status following a decline in volcanic earthquakes, slower ground deformation, and weak steam and gas emission at Taal’s main crater.

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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