Of ashfall and earthquakes: More hazards after Taal Volcano’s eruption
MANILA, Philippines — Ashfall and earthquakes followed Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption on Sunday, leaving many residents in and around the previously serene tourist attraction in distress and in search of safer grounds.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in its January 13 update at 3:20 a.m., said ashfall was reported in several areas including Tanauan, Batangas; Escala, Tagaytay; Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Dasmarinas, Bacon, and Silang, Cavite; Malolos, San Jose del Monte, and Meycauayan, Bulacan; Antipolo, Rizal, Quezon City and the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Marikina, Paranaque, Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Manila, Makati and Taguig City in Meto Manila..
Meanwhile, larger particles called papilla measuring from 2 to 64 millimetres in diameter have reportedly fallen in Tanauan and Talisay, Batangas; Tagaytay City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“Fine ashfall can cause irritation and breathing problems especially among the elderly and children and it is particularly dangerous to our health,” Phivolcs said.
The agency added that “areas of ashfall have also experienced sulphurous smell which can also cause irritation.”
Phivolcs advised the public to use N95 grade facemarks or or cover their mouth and nose with a wet cloth or towel.
Motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution as the ashfall could cause zero visibility while slippery road conditions could prevail.
Sunday’s eruption was also followed by a number of earthquakes.
As of 12:49 a.m., Phivolcs said a total of 52 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in the Taal region.
Of these earthquakes, 26 were felt with intensities ranging from II to V in Tagaytay City; Cabuyao, Laguna and Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery, and Bauan in Batangas.
“Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” Phivolcs said.
Phivolcs said it “strongly reiterates” the total evacuation of Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal Volcano main crater.
It assured that it is continuously monitoring the eruption.
Phivolcs earlier raised Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano following a phreatic eruption on Sunday.
Alert Level 4 means “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
The eruption also led to widespread blackouts and the suspension of work and classes in affected ares, including Metro Manila.
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