PNP raises security alert status after Taal Volcano spews ash
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has raised its security alert status over Batangas, specifically over Taal Volcano Island and other high-risk areas in the province following the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano Sunday afternoon.
In a statement, the PNP said the Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO 4A) had been directed to prohibit the entry of people into the island and other high-risk areas, particularly the town of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas.
The PNP said it was ready to “implement evacuation in coordination with local government officials due to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami, the Phivolcs [Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology] in its bulletin.”
“Local police units around the Taal Lake shore are also directed to coordinate with their respective LGUs (local government units) for immediate action due to possible lake water disturbances,” the PNP added.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa also directed the police regional directors of Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Metro Manila “to immediately activate their respective Disaster Incident Management Task Group, Regional Reactionary Standby Force, and Search and Rescue assets for possible deployment.”
“RDs [regional directors], immediately convene your DRRMCs for inter-agency coordination, assessment and courses of action,” Gamboa said.
Phivolcs has raised the alert status of Taal Volcano to Alert Level 3 after the volcano spewed ash in a phreatic eruption at around 1 p.m. As of this posting, Phivolcs has declared Alert Level 4.
In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs said Taal Volcano “has escalated its eruptive activity, generating an eruption plume one kilometer-high accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes in Volcano Island and barangays of Agoncillo, Batangas.”
It added that “ashfall is currently being showered on the southwest sector of Taal.”
Because of this, Phivolcs strongly recommended the evacuation of residents of towns near the Taal Volcano Island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas due to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.