Missing man found on his birthday, buried under mud on Taal Volcano Island
An aerial view shows the Taal volcano on January 17, 2020. The threat of the Philippines' Taal volcano unleashing a potentially catastrophic eruption remains high, authorities warned on January 16, saying it was showing dangerous signs despite a "lull" in spewing ash.
AFP/Ed Jones

Missing man found on his birthday, buried under mud on Taal Volcano Island

Arnell Ozaeta, Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 15, 2020 - 4:11pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 4:19 p.m.) — A man who went missing since the Taal Volcano's eruption in January was finally found dead on his birthday underneath mud on the volcano's island.

Colonel Edwin Quilates, Batangas police director identified the fatality as Marlon Deteral.

Quilates, however, said they are still waiting for the Scene of the Crime Operatives for confirmation of the victim's identity. 

"Deteral was not reported missing in our office that's why we're still conducting investigation on the recovered body," Quilates said in a phone interview.

Quilates said that a certain Alexander Dando Jr. of Barangay Alas-as, San Nicolas, Batangas was the one reported to them as missing since Jan. 12, 2020.

Dando remain missing as of Saturday, Quilates said. 

RELATED: LIVE updates: Taal Volcano eruption

The body was reportedly discovered by a flatboat owner who returned to Taal Volcano Island to retrieve his vehicle.

Initial investigation said Deteral went back to the island to attend a wedding and went missing afterwards. 

State volcanology bureau Phivolcs on Friday downgraded the state of Taal Volcano to Alert Level 2 (moderate level of volcanic unrest) after parameters indicated decreased eruptive activity.

RELATED: Taal’s status lowered to Alert Level 2

“Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding three weeks has been characterized by less frequent volcanic activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal caldera and Taal Volcano Island edifices and weak steam or gas emissions at the main crater,” Phivolcs said.

However, the state volcanologists said that this does not remove the threat of eruption, recommending to prohibit entry into the volcano island and Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone.

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