Restive Taal brings over 1,200 families to evacuation sites

Over 1,200 families from high-risk areas in Batangas are currently in evacuation centers due to Taal Volcano’s restiveness, a report from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said Tuesday.

There are at least 27 evacuation sites catering to at least 1,252 families or 4,496 individuals, according to the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office data.

Apart from those in evacuation centers, some 2,531 families or around 8,895 individuals are staying with their relatives in other municipalities.

There were no reported fatalities, and no buildings and houses were damaged due to the volcano’s activities.

Taal Volcano has been under alert level 3 (magmatic unrest) since July 1, as there is magmatic intrusion at its main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) earlier recommended complete evacuation in the Taal Volcano Island (TVI), Taal Lake, and villages in the Batangas towns of Agoncillo (Banyaga, Bilibinwang), and Laurel (Gulod, Boso-Boso, Lakeshore Bugaan East) due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

Last July 1, Taal Volcano main crater generated a short-lived dark phreatomagmatic plume 1 kilometer-high.

Meanwhile, some 171 volcanic earthquakes were recorded for the past 24 hours in the Taal Volcano, a bit lower than the 185 volcanic quakes recorded the previous day.

Volcanic quakes are caused by movements or eruptions of magma from the volcano. The latest figure includes 157 volcanic tremors that lasted 1 to 97 minutes, 13 low frequency volcanic quakes, and low-level background tremors that persisted since July 7.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission averaged 6,134 tonnes on July 12, while steam-rich plumes measured 1,500 meters high.

Phivolcs reiterated that entry into the TVI and the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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