JANUARY 24, 2020 – The country’s volcanology and seismology agency on Friday asked the people to stay away from Taal volcano as a hazardous explosive eruption is still possible as it showed signs of increase activities in the last 12 hours.
In regular news briefing, volcano monitoring division chief Ma. Antonia Bornas said alert level 4 remained over the volcano even if it appeared to be showing signs of calming down.
“Ito po ay medyo kahambing din po ng mababang pagsukat noong nakaraang araw, mas mataas lamang po nang kaunti pero within error,” Bornas told reporters.
“Mangyari lang po sa ating mga kababayan na manatiling umiwas at lumikas sa Taal Volcano island, Taal Lake, at sa mga high-risk areas na maaaring tamaan ng base surge batay sa ating hazard map na pangkaraniwang nakapaloob sa 14 kilometer radius mula sa bunganga ng bulkan.”
In the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology observed weak to moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes from the main crater and recorded fewer volcanic earthquakes at seven.
The amount of emmitted sulfur dioxide (locally known as asupre), meanwhile, was measured at an average of 224 tonnes per day.
But, at 5 am on Friday, Taal released steam, which was the most significant activity since January 12 eruption.
Bornas said the residents must stay away from areas near Pansipit River where the agency observed ground fissures after the volcanic eruption on Sunday.
“Nakikita natin na ang asupre, ibinubuga sa tagiliran ng fissure kaya lubhang mapanganib kapag nalanghap natin sa mataas na concentrations, toxic po na gas ‘yan,” Bornas said.
“Kasama na rin dito ang posibilidad na magkaroon ng biglang pagputok ang bulkan maaaring ikamatay at ‘di matakbuhan,” she added.
Bornas also warned against the possible emmission of carbon dioxide from the volcano that is odorless and colorless.
“Mabigit ito at humahalili sa hangin kapag ibinubuga ng bulkan at maaari po tayong ma-asphyxiate,” she said. Asphyxia is the lack of oxygen or excess of carbon dioxide in the body that may result on an individual’s death.
The agency has said there is a 30 percent probability of a major eruption in the country’s second most active volcano, which is highly risky on areas within the danger zone.
The continuing volcanic activities already displaced nearly one million residents and destroyed over 3 billion-peso worth of crops and fisheries in southern Luzon.
Authorities have enforced a lockdown of 12 towns to ensure the public’s safety. (Karen Macalalad/MM)
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