The Archdiocese of Lipa in Batangas is preparing to help evacuees from the areas around Taal amid reports of recent abnormal activity in the volcano.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Department of Science and Technology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) reported that the Taal Volcano Network has been recording numerous imperceptible volcanic tremors beneath the edifice since February 13, 2021, while recent field data indicate increased acidity and high temperatures of the Main Crater Lake.
Residents on Taal island have been evacuated on February 16 as a precautionary measure.
Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission’s Fr. Jayson Siapco told Radio Veritas they are ready to assist the evacuees in the worst-case scenario of another eruption similar to that of what occurred in January 2020.
Taal Volcano last erupted in January 2020 and spewed volcanic ash across Batangas, Cavite, and nearby areas. Humanitarian aid for the evacuees came from private individuals, groups, churches, and schools that worked with local governments and national agencies to care for the evacuees.
The latest Taal Volcano Bulletin from PHIVOLCS issued February 17 at 8:00 AM indicates that in the past 24-hour period, the Taal Volcano Network recorded sixty-nine (69) tremor episodes having durations of one (1) to five (5) minutes.
Activity in the Main Crater consisted of weak emission of white steam-laden plumes from fumaroles that rose 20 meters high. Ground deformation parameters from continuous electronic tilt on Volcano Island record a slight deflation around the Main Crater since October 2020 but overall, very slow and steady inflation of the Taal region has been recorded by continuous GPS data after the eruption.
Alert Level 1 (Abnormal) is maintained over Taal Volcano. DOST-PHIVOLCS reminds the public that at Alert Level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).
DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly recommends the following:
- entry into TVI, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited
- Local government units are advised to continuously assess previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency, and communication measures in case of renewed unrest
- People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes
- Civil aviation authorities must advise 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
HELP the Taal evacuees by donating provisions to the Lipa Archdiocese Social Action Center in this link: https://meris.lasaclipa.com/home/index
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