DOH warns residents not to eat fish from Taal Lake

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 15, 2020   •   918

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned residents in the Taal region not to buy and eat fish from the Taal lake for health reasons.

The health department released an advisory reminding the public to avoid buying and eating fish harvested from Taal area and other parts of Batangas. This is due to possible high sulfur content.

“We know toxic substances have been thrown out of the volcano at na-dissolve iyan sa tubig natin (and it dissolves in our water). Kung makikita natin na enough siyang pumatay ng isda at hayop, then pag na-ingest natin ito, maaaring lumipat sa katawan ng tao, iyong mga toxins na ito (If the water is contaminated enough to kill fish and other animals, ingesting it transfers the toxins to our body),” according to DOH Usec. Eric Domingo.

Residents are also prohibited from fishing in the Taal Lake while there is high activity in the volcano.

The DOH said eating fish with high sulfur content can lead to food poisoning.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) previously said the supply of tilapia in Metro Manila will be affected because of the Taal eruption.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Residents on Taal Volcano island evacuated over seismic activity

Marje Pelayo   •   February 16, 2021

BATANGAS, Philippines — Authorities started evacuating residents on Taal Volcano island over the recent seismic activity and changes in the volcano’s main crater lake.

They live within the island which is supposed to be a ‘no man’s land,’ particularly those in two communities in the municipality of Talisay.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the evacuation was a precautionary move.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) OIC Renato Solidum said that he recommended the restriction of people on the whole island.

Earlier, Phivolcs has recorded 98 volcanic tremors in the past 24 hours having durations of five to 12 minutes.

The agency also monitored an increase in acidity and temperature of the Taal Volcano’s main crater lake.

Alert level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect with the possibility of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal expulsions of volcanic gas occurring and threatening areas within the Taal Volcano island.

Phivolcs strongly advised the public against entering the Taal Volcano island, its permanent danger zone (PDZ), especially its main crater lake and fissures in Daang Kastila, due to the danger posed by the volcano’s recent activities. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PNP gives evacuees chance to check homes; patrols Taal Lake to bar anyone from fishing

Maris Federez   •   January 16, 2020

Local resident Erwin Apilo walks near a damaged house in Agoncillo, Batangas, Philippines, 16 January 2020. EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is implementing maximum tolerance and permitted the evacuees who had been insisting to go back and check their homes despite the lockdown being implemented in several towns due to Taal Volcano’s continuous activities.

The five towns that had been locked down were Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, Laurel and Balete.

More than 2,000 police are stationed at the five towns’ entry and exit points.

PNP Calabarzon director PBGen. Vicente Danao, Jr. clarified that they only allowed those who have very important things to get back to in their homes, and only for a limited time.

“May limited time lang kaming ibinigay kasi sabi namin sa kanila hindi namin kayo dyan pwedeng payagan forever.  What is the use of evacuation kung lahat naman babalik? So, the same people naman na hahakutin na naman natin lahat e dapat siguro in every family isa, dalawa lang. Hindi yung buong pamilya ang babalik,” Danao said.

Army BGen. Marceliano Teofilo said it will create bigger problems for them if they will allow all residents to go back to their houses.

“Ang iba kasi nagbabalikan. Yun ang challenge na tinitake natin. Kaya yung mga pulis ay nag establish ng checkpoint para ma-avoid na nila ang pagpunta doon. Kasi ang inaavoid natin pag may pumasok. That would be another problem lalo na pag pumutok na, mahihirapan yung mga rescuer na pumasok din,” Teofilo said.

To date, around 1,000 military personnel and 99 vehicles are being used in the rescue operations.

The PNP-Maritime group is closely patrolling and strictly monitoring the Taal Lake for those who will try to fish.

“May patrol craft kami don na umiikot sa Taal Lake to make sure na walang bangka na lalaot towards the volcano at any civilian along the coastline. Wala dapat makikitang civilian along the coastline,” said PNP-Maritime director PBGen. Rwin Pagkalinawan.

They are also conducting rescue operations on animals that were left behind by their owners.

“In order to appease those owners, sige ikarga natin sa barges yung inyong mga kabayo, aso at baka para lamang umalis kayo dyan,” Pagkalinawan added.

In total, around 29 horses and 3 cows were rescued since Wednesday (Jan. 15).

Authorities appeal to the public to cooperate on the rules that they are implementing to avoid dangers and untoward incidents. — (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Emergency harvest urged around Taal Lake as sulfur upwelling continues

Marje Pelayo   •   February 5, 2019

BATANGAS, Philippines – A massive fish kill is continuously affecting the income of local fisherfolks around Taal Lake.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A cannot tell as to when the water will return to its normal state and the sulfur upwelling will end.

“Ipinapa-assess pa namin through drone kung gaano talaga ang extent ng upwelling kasi makikita nag-iiba yung kulay talaga ng tubig. Nagiging bluish tsaka green,” explained BFAR Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz.

Cruz said the towns most affected by the phenomenon are Balete, Mataas na Kahoy and San Nicolas in Batangas.

Because of this, BFAR continuously encourage fish pen owners to do emergency harvest before the sulfur upwelling affects their produce.

“Diretso ang ating emergency harvest (and) of course, ang ating monitoring ng tubig,” Cruz said.

“Ang ating advisory naman, as far as ang ating mga water quality parameters (are concerened) nag uupdate kami everyday,” he added.

Just last week, around 28 fish cages were already affected by the sulfur upwelling and about 66 tons of milkfish and tilapia were killed. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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