Phivolcs calls for long-term development plan around Taal Volcano
MANILA, Philippines — A long-term development plan should be made in localities around the Taal Volcano to prevent regular evacuation of residents, the director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Monday as the volcano remains under alert level 3.
“For the long term, local governments and national organizations need to discuss the long-term development plan of the area,” Phivolcs director Renato Solidum told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Solidum said that in Mayon Volcano in Albay, for example, those within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone are displaced more often than those located further away from the volcano every time it exhibits an activity.
“So essentially, a development plan can be considered where livelihood can still exist very close to the volcano, not in the volcano island, but those along the lakeshore, but then major economic activities can be placed further out,” he added.
Solidum said that the development plan should consider the hazards and ensure that economic development in the communities near the volcano would be less affected.
“There must be a long term development plan that must consider the hazards and risks. Whatever investment, people in communities that are settled in the danger area must be considered and fully evaluated, so that if the volcano would frequently erupt from time to time, the economic development of an area would be less affected than presently what is happening,” he said.
Solidum also noted that after the 1965 eruption of Taal, people did not immediately resettle in the area but returned after a few years when they saw that nothing was happening at the volcano.
“So it’s like advance and retreat, advance and retreat. We have to make sure that we plan the development of the area better,” he said.
Based on Phivolcs’ bulletin issued Monday morning, the Taal Volcano Network recorded 17 volcanic earthquakes, including one volcanic tremor event having a duration of 45 minutes, sixteen 16 low frequency volcanic earthquakes, and low-level background tremor that has persisted since April.
Phivolcs added that “high levels” of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that rose as much as 2,500 meters high that drifted southwest, southeast, and north-northwest were generated from the Taal’s main crater.
Sulfur dioxide emission averaged 22,628 tonnes on Sunday, according to the agency.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.