Taal volcano spews ash, residents evacuate

Photos taken from installed IP camera monitoring the activity of Taal Volcano of PHILVOCS.

Currently, evacuation efforts are underway in the towns of Talisay, Balete, and San Nicolas, Batangas, while flights to and from NAIA have been temporarily put on hold. About 8,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate so far.

By By JUSTIN UMALI
Bulatlat.com

SANTA ROSA, Laguna – The Taal volcano has erupted, spewing an ash column one kilometer high, January 12, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The explosion resulted in the alert level being raised to Alert Level 3 in the vicinity of the Taal volcano as of 4 pm. An Alert Level 3 means there is “magmatic intrusion that is likely driving the current activity,” according to Philvolcs.

Residents around the area and surrounding localities as far as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (96 km away from Taal) are reportedly experiencing ash fall due to the explosion.

According to Philvolcs, activity in the Taal Volcano’s main crater “has escalated its eruptive activity, generating an eruption plume one kilometer high, accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes.”

Philvolcs is strongly recommending that Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays in Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas be evactuated, citing “possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.”

Currently, evacuation efforts are underway in the towns of Talisay, Balete, and San Nicolas, Batangas, while flights to and from NAIA have been temporarily put on hold. About 8,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate so far.

Although Taal Volcano Island was designated as a “permanent danger zone” by Philvolcs, strongly not recommending permanent settlement, residents still choose to live in the island, fueling its tourism industry. Thousands of tourists are estimated to visit Taal annually.

Residents around Taal also engage in aquaculture, and there are over 6,000 tilapia cages floating in the area, accounting for 24% of total tilapia production in the country.

The Southern Tagalog Serve the People Corps, a volunteer organization focused on relief and disaster prevention, is calling for donations, volunteers, and updates to the present situation. They can be reached through their page, or by messaging 0908 140 6733. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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