MANILA, Philippines — A strong earthquake rocked parts of Luzon on Monday, April 22.
In a bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said a magnitude 5.7 earthquake was recorded at 5:11 p.m.
The quake has a depth of 21 kilometers and its epicenter was located in Castillejos, Zambales.
The following intensities were felt in these areas:
San Felipe, Zambales
Dasmariñas, Cavite | via @phivolcs_dost
Phivolcs warned that aftershocks and damage are expected.
Due to the strong quake, the management of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) suspended its train operations on Monday at around 5:18 p.m.
LRT-2 Spokesperson Hernando Cabrera wrote on his twitter account that “All stations are closed for passenger entry, pending inspection and assessment of all facilities and systems due to earthquake.”
In view of the earthquake felt in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the Philippine National Police (PNP) asked the public to remain calm and follow the drill and procedures on earthquake if necessary.
The PNP also assured readiness in responding for any call for help.
“We assure our people that the PNP will stay to provide security, remain alert, and ready to respond for any call for help,” said PNP Spokesperson COL. Bernard Banac. — Robie de Guzman
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may decide this week on whether to lift, extend or modify the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being enforced over Luzon, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no definite answer yet on the fate of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which will lapse on April 30.
However, he said that the chief executive will likely decide on the matter soon to give ample time for authorities and the public to prepare.
“Kinakailangang magdesisyon ang presidente ngayong linggong ito dahil anuman ang maging desisyon niya, kinakailangang paghandaan ang implementasyon,” Roque said in a virtual press briefing.
The Palace official said Duterte is meeting with medical experts to get their recommendations and basis amid the COVID-19 crisis.
He will also discuss the matter with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Duterte earlier threatened to impose a martial law-like quarantine measure if the public continues to disobey safety and health protocols against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The IATF also reiterated it is still discussing possible scenarios and its game plan for post-ECQ, and denied rumors the quarantine will be extended until May.
The Palace likewise dismissed as fake news a viral voice clip which warned about a possible declaration of martial law-type lockdown this week.
The quarantine over Luzon has been in place since March 15 and it is due to end on April 30.
Under this measure, public transport operations are halted, classes and work in some offices are suspended, and only essential workers are allowed to go out of their homes while the rest are ordered to stay inside their residences. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (March 16) announced enhancements on community quarantine which covers the entire Luzon Island.
“It will be an enhanced quarantine, during which the movement of everyone will be significantly limited,” the President said.
“Work in public and private sectors shall be limited to a work-at-home arrangement,” he added.
The enhanced community quarantine, which has taken effect at 12:01 am on Tuesday (March 17) orders strict observation of social distancing measures following the sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Under the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the Stringent Social Distancing Measures over the entire Luzon Island, the following shall be strictly implemented:
No classes until April 14, 2020
No mass gatherings
Households under strict home quarantine (only one person may be allowed access to basic necessities)
Regulated provisions on food and essential health services
Increased military and police presence
Suspended mass public transport
Restricted land, air and sea travel
Inbound passengers who are allowed to enter Luzon (subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions)
International passengers, in transit
Filipino citizens including foreign spouse and children
Holders of Permanent Resident Visa
Transport of medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance is allowed
Open establishments (with assigned skeletal force under strict social distancing one-meter protocol)
pharmacies and drug stores
food preparation and delivery services
manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines
money transfer services
power, energy, water, and telecommunications supplies and facilities
Business Process Outsourcing establishments and export-oriented industries; skeletal workforce must be provided with temporary accommodation
Media personnel shall be allowed to travel within the quarantine area provided they have PCOO media pass.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have been ordered to coordinate with various agencies and create a program that will provide assistance to affected employees and residents of Luzon.
The President also ordered DSWD to ensure that the delivery of food assistance will be unhampered.
President Duterte warned offenders of facing sanctions as the implementation of such strict measures is crucial to the safety of the Filipino public.
“Obey the police and the military. Do not quarrel with them and do not start ruckus that would amount to a violation because you will be arrested and brought to prison — disobedience of authority then acts of public disturbance,” he said. “You can be arrested. Sumunod lang kayo at wala tayong problema (Just follow the rules and we will have no problem),” he concluded.
The above measures are subject to daily review and study of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) until such time that the risk of coronavirus disease subsides. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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