In the Know: Areas within 14KM permanent danger zone and 20KM extended danger zone

Maris Federez   •   January 16, 2020   •   4958

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have been appealing to the public not to enter the areas considered to be within the 14-kilometer and 20-kilometer danger zones surrounding the Taal Volcano.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) noted that Taal Volcano has caused more than 500 tremors since its phreatic explosion last Sunday.

Phivolcs added that the fissures seen on the ground near the volcano; the drying up of the lake and the swelling of the volcanic crater, are signs of an imminent major explosive eruption.

The alert level 4 is still raised over Taal Volcano which prompted authorities to enforce the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone and the 20-kilometer extended danger zone.

Local governments within these zones must implement total evacuation.

Areas within the 14-kilometer-radius danger zone include the towns of Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Balete, and Mataas na Kahoy; parts of Lemery, Laurel, Tagaytay City, Tanauan City, and Cuenca; and some barangays in the towns of Taal, Sta. Teresita, Alitagtag, San Jose, Lipa City, and Malvar.

To date, several towns in Batangas, such as Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Taal, and Laurel are locked down.

Meanwhile, areas within the 20-kilometer-radius extended danger zone include Tagaytay City, Tanauan City, Malvar, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Lemery, and Mendez; parts of Indang, Alfonso, Amadeo, and Silang in Cavite; as well as Calamba City in Laguna, Sto. Tomas, Malvar, Lipa City, San Jose, San Pascual, Bauan, San Luis, Calaca, Balayan, and Nasugbu in Batangas.

Based on the hazard map issued by Phivolcs, a base surge might happen following a major eruption.

Phivolcs said the intensity of the heat from the steam and ash brought about by the base surge will cause the temperature to rise to up to 1,000˚Celsius.

The areas that may be affected by the base surge include the towns of Talisay, San Nicolas, Laurel, Agoncillo, Lemery, Taal, Sta. Teresita, and Tanauan City; as well as some parts of Alitagtag, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete and Lipa City.

On the other hand, the ballistic projectile or areas that can be reached by rocks or boulders that Taal Volcano might spew in case of a major explosion include the towns of Talisay, San Nicolas, Agoncillo, and Lemery.

The explosion could also cause a tsunami in the lake which might affect the surrounding communities.

Authorities appealed to the public for cooperation and to refrain from going back to restricted areas until the volcanic activities have subsided. — (from the report of Bernard Dadis) /mbmf

Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert to level 1

UNTV News   •   March 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said it has downgraded the alert on Taal Volcano to level 1 following the decrease in volcanic quakes and surface activity at the main crater.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding four weeks after its alert was lowered to level 2, has been characterized by low-level volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and the Taal Volcano Island edifices, and weak surface activity at the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” its bulletin reads.

State volcanologists said that alert level 1 means that the volcano is still in “abnormal condition,” and that this “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.”

Under alert level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.

The alert level may be raised back to alert level 2 “should pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn of renewed unrest,” Phivolcs said.

The agency reminded residents that entry to Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, remains strictly prohibited. 

The Taal Volcano was placed under alert level 4 when it spewed ash on January 12 which sent thousands of residents to temporary shelters and disrupted businesses in surrounding areas.

It was later lowered to alert level 2 several weeks later due to decreased unrest. — ROBIE DE GUZMAN

PHIVOLCS may further downgrade alert level over Taal Volcano next week

Marje Pelayo   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported only about 29 volcanic earthquakes around Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours, an indication that rocks underground are breaking.

A column of white steam also continues to form but only up to 50 meters in height.

It has been a week since PHIVOLCS downgraded alert level over the Taal volcano to level 2 from the previous level 3.

According to PHIVOLCS OIC Usec. Renato Solidum, they need to observe Taal volcano’s activities for one more week before they can decide whether to further downgrade the alert status based on the agency’s standard operating procedure.

“Basta tuloy-tuloy ang kanyang mga parametro na bumababa ang bilang pwede natin masabi na pwede nating ibaba ito sa alert level number one (If the parameters continue to reduce in number, we might lower the alert level to number one),” Solidum said.

Entry restrictions remain within the permanent danger zone in Taal Volcano Island.

Solidum said the local government unit needs to assess first if the former residential areas would be conducive for living.

PHIVOLCS does not recommended constructing houses on the volcano island due to the risk of having the ground break apart should the volcano proceed to erupt. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Magnitude 5.4 quake rattles Davao Occidental

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.


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