Tourists ignoring Phivolcs warning
- Evelyn Macairan () - June 12, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos and Korean tourists have reportedly been sighted going to the Taal Volcano despite warnings from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), who has raised the alert level to two.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Lieutenant Commander Arman Balilo said that Batangas Station head Lieutenant Commander Troy Cornelio informed him that tourists made several attempts to get close to the volcano’s crater.

Cornelio said that since last Wednesday, they have already spotted Filipino and Korean tourists hiring motorized banca to ferry them to the Taal volcano, which is considered as the smallest active volcano in the world.

For the past three days, the PCG on board their rubber boats have been closely monitoring the area and every time they chance upon a motorized boat carrying tourists headed to the volcano island, they would give instructions to the passenger boat to turn back.

At around 10 a.m. yesterday, the PCG’s roving team again saw a motorized boat with more or less 15 Korean passengers and they were discouraged from proceeding to the volcano.

“Many of these motorized bancas are not even registered. Whenever we catch them bringing tourists to the island we just report them to the association of motorized banca in the area,” Cornelio said.

He added that he is also contemplating on confiscating the boats of these people to reprimand them for violating the government’s warnings.

The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Committee (PDCC) had already given instructions for the women, children and people with disabilities to evacuate voluntarily.

BATANGAS STATION CORNELIO FILIPINO AND KOREAN FILIPINOS AND KOREAN LIEUTENANT COMMANDER ARMAN BALILO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER TROY CORNELIO PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY PHIVOLCS PROVINCIAL DISASTER COORDINATING COMMITTEE TAAL VOLCANO
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