The government has yet to decide whether to expand the coverage of the permanent relocation to some areas within a 14-km-radius danger zone that covers lakeshore communities around Taal.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Permanent relocation of residents in 7-km Taal danger zone OK’d
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As Taal Volcano continues to manifest unrest, the government has approved the permanent relocation of residents within the seven-kilometer-radius danger zone around the volcano.

 Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles told “The Chiefs” yesterday on Cignal TV’s One News that an initial 5,000 families – about 25,000 people – living in several barangays in two towns would be relocated to permanent housing that are now ready for occupancy in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna.

The government has yet to decide whether to expand the coverage of the permanent relocation to some areas within a 14-km-radius danger zone that covers lakeshore communities around Taal.

Nograles said the Cabinet will discuss the relocation plan in a meeting today at Malacañang.,

Taal belched dirty-white to white steam-laden plumes yesterday, accompanied by volcanic earthquakes that were felt in Batangas and Cavite, indicating continued magmatic activity that might lead to another eruption. 

The volcanic plume reached 800 meters high and drifted southwest, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Phivolcs seismic monitoring network recorded at least 134 volcanic earthquakes since Sunday, which signifies “magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the main crater.”

The earthquakes occurred at 4:20 a.m. and 5:42 a.m., with magnitudes 3.2 and 2.3, respectively.

The first quake was felt at Intensity 4 in Laurel and Agoncillo, Intensity 3 in Lemery and Intensity 2 in Tagaytay. 

Alert Level 3 remained hoisted over Taal as of yesterday, meaning sudden steam-driven and even weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal volcanic gas expulsions can still occur and threaten areas within the Volcano Island and nearby lakeshores. 

Phivolcs said Taal Volcano island as well as areas over the lake and communities west of the island within the seven-kilometer radius danger zone are strictly off-limits to the public.

Taal, the second most active volcano in the country, erupted on Jan. 12, displacing over 370,000 individuals.

The volcanic eruption left damage to agriculture amounting to more than P3.2 billion in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna, according to disaster officials. 

DANGER ZONE TAAL
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