Photo shows scenes from the evacuation center at San Gregorio Integrated School in Laurel, Batangas.
Photo by EC Toledo/Philstar.com
LIST: Areas tagged safe for return as Taal status downgraded to Alert Level 3
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 26, 2020 - 10:40am

MANILA, Philippines — As state volcanology bureau Phivolcs lowers their cautionary status for Taal Volcano from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3, previously displaced residents in a number of areas now have the option to return to their homes and places of work, the Provincial Government of Batangas confirmed on Sunday morning. 

Alert Level 4 meant that a volcanic eruption was possible within hours to days while Alert Level 3 means a "decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption." Phivolcs was careful to clarify, however, that the risk of volcanic eruption was still very much present. 

Here is a list of areas within the province which are safe for return, according to a bulletin issued by the Batangas Public Information Office. 

Areas open at the option of residents:

  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Cuenca 
  • Lemery 
  • Lipa City 
  • Malvar
  • Mataas na Kahoy 
  • San Nicolas
  • Sta. Teresa 
  • Taal
  • Talisay
  • Tanauan City

Areas still on lockdown 

  • Agoncillo 
  • Laurel

Areas on permanent lockdown 

  • Volcano Island 

The issuance came shortly after a Phivolcs bulletin issued 8 a.m. Sunday confirmed the lowering of the alert level, while the National Disaster Risk Response and Management Council recorded some 98,000 families or 376,000 persons in the Calabarzon region who were affected by Taal's unrest. 

LIST: Where you can donate for Taal Volcano relief efforts

Some 135,365 of them were taking temporary shelter in 497 evacuation centers while 168,569 were "served outside evacuation centers."

Batangas' provincial government in their bulletin also warned of the likelihood of lahar during rainfall. They also cautioned citizens of the continuing hazards that ashfall may bring. 

TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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