Taal eruption to displace 500,000 people

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Taal eruption to displace 500,000 people
Photo shows a general view of the volcano’s crater lake yesterday, which was generally calm a day after a five-minute steam and gas-driven explosion.

MANILA, Philippines — Around half a million residents within the 14-kilometer radius of Taal Volcano will be affected in the event of a ”violent” eruption, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

NDRRMC head Ricardo Jalad said government agencies are taking into account the worst-case scenario to calibrate their disaster plans while the volcano remains on Alert Level 3.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recommended the mandatory evacuation of residents of five high-risk barangays in Agoncillo and Laurel following the phreatomagmatic explosion last week.

Aside from these areas, it is “business is usual” in most parts of Batangas province.

The provincial government has allowed fishing in Taal Lake from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help local fisherfolk.

Jalad gave assurance that there is enough assistance, including food, medicine and COVID-19 vaccines, for affected residents.

Phivolcs said it has recorded eight earthquakes – two low-frequency and five volcanic tremors – that lasted one to two minutes since Friday.

Meanwhile, sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 4,149 tons per day while steam-rich plumes rose 1,200 meters.

Phivolcs warned the public that at Alert Level 3, magma could drive explosive eruptions in the main crater.


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