Hope sprouts again on Taal nearly five months after the volcano’s phreatic eruption blanketed Batangas and nearby provinces in sheets of ash.
A report by GMA News yesterday featured photos taken by John Carlo Avelida who was in Tagaytay just days ago for work. Though still seemingly barren and covered with ash from afar, dots of greenery can now be seen again in some parts of Taal based on the photo, owing to the arrival of the rainy season.
That said, these signs of life shouldn’t be taken by residents or tourists as a go signal to return to the area anytime soon. Just yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reminded the public that Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 1 after five earthquakes were recorded within the vicinity in the last 24 hours.
According to their bulletin posted 8 a.m. last June 9, the recent activities were “associated mainly with rock-fracturing processes beneath and around the edifice. Weak steaming or fumarolic activity rising 20 meters to 30 meters high before drifting southwest was observed from vents on the Main Crater and from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila Trail.
PHIVOLCS has also recommended that entry to Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone remain strictly prohibited as “sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur.”
People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft,” cautions PHIVOLCS.