Left Menu
Development News Edition

Philippines: Taal volcano 'recharges' as residents rush back to 'danger zone'

Devdiscourse News Desk | Manila | Updated: 20-01-2020 15:18 IST | Created: 20-01-2020 15:18 IST
Philippines: Taal volcano 'recharges' as residents rush back to 'danger zone'
Representative image Image Credit: Twitter (@phivolcs_dost)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A top Philippine vulcanologist has warned that the Taal volcano is "recharging" and the threat remains.
  • Following a lull over the last few days, local authorities had allowed some residents to go back to their homes.
  • But top Philippine authorities have reiterated that Taal volcano remains dangerous and kept the lockdown in place.

A restive volcano in the Philippines has a high risk of the eruption as it is "recharging" with fresh magma and rising emissions of toxic gas, a top scientist said on Monday, while authorities ordered commercial establishments to stay shut. Earthquakes were still happening at the Taal volcano, which shot giant clouds of ash miles into the air on Jan. 12, and levels of the gas were rising, a sign of magma "recharging" and "resupplying" beneath it, a Philippine vulcanologist said.

"If it reaches the crater, it could cause a strong explosion," Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), told DZMM radio. Authorities have thrown a 14-km (9-mile) exclusion zone around the volcano, with experts saying an eruption could bring a devastating rain of rocks and magma and unleash a tsunami in the lake around it.

Several establishments reopened last week in the tourist resort of Tagaytay after the volcano, 70 km (45 miles) from the capital, Manila, had shown signs of calming, but authorities ordered them to heed orders to close.

"We are directing DRRMCs (civil defense officers)... not to allow anyone to enter the danger zone," said Epimaco Densing, undersecretary for the Department of Interior. "It's dangerous, that's why we have imposed a lockdown," he told reporters.

"The threat remains. It has not waned," Renato Solidum, head of the Philippines' seismological agency, told reporters. He said the volcano might be spewing less ash that it was a few days ago, but the magma that would fuel a big eruption is still coursing toward it.

Just 311 meters (1,020 feet) high, Taal is one of the world's smallest active volcanoes, but it can be deadly, having killed more than 1,300 people in an eruption in 1911. More than 100,000 people have abandoned homes around the volcano and flocked to evacuation centers after it blanketed homes, schools, and farms with ash.

The education ministry said it was ready to send teachers to run classes for more than 1 million students in nearby towns after displaced people had to be accommodated in some schools. No deaths have been reported and the volcano's impact has proved just a blip for the $330-billion national economy, despite canceled flights and a day of work lost on Jan. 12 because of a heavy fall of ash in Manila.

Taal has erupted more than 30 times in the past five centuries, most recently in 1977. The Philippines lies on the "Ring of Fire" , a belt of volcanoes girdling the Pacific Ocean that is also prone to earthquakes.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Videos

Latest News

Social media CEOs rebuff bias claims, vow to defend election

Under fire from President Donald Trump and his allies, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google rebuffed accusations of anti-conservative bias at a Senate hearing and promised to aggressively defend their platforms from being used to sow ch...

Soccer-Dominant Sevilla earn narrow win over Rennes despite glut of chances

Sevilla picked up their first Champions League win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Stade Rennais on Wednesday after outclassing the French side but managing to convert only one of the numerous clear chances they carved out.Dutch forwa...

Soccer-Barca say winning is the best answer to their boardroom crisis

Barcelonas 2-0 win away to Juventus in their Champions League group was the perfect reply to the clubs boardroom crisis, midfielder Sergi Roberto said on Wednesday. The club was rocked when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned on Tu...

U.S. Supreme Court deals blow to Republicans in Pennsylvania vote-by-mail fight

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a setback to Republicans by declining to quickly decide whether to hear their latest bid to block an extended deadline for receiving mail-in ballots in next Tuesdays election in Pennsylvania, a sta...

Give Feedback