US Embassy warns citizens to be cautious around Taal volcano vicinity

Published January 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Roy Mabasa

The United States Embassy in Manila has urged all its citizens in the Philippines to exercise caution if they have plans of traveling within the vicinity of Taal Volcano after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert status to Alert Level 4 (hazardous eruption imminent).

US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.  (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

With the raising of the alert status, the US Embassy specifically identified the areas of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas as “high-risk barangays.”

“In light of intensified eruptive activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised Taal Volcano’s alert status from Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) to ALERT LEVEL 4 (hazardous eruption imminent). This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” the US Embassy said in a travel alert posted on its official website on Sunday.

Taking its cue from an earlier announcement made by Philippine authorities, the Embassy reminded American citizens in the Philippines to be vigilant and continue to “monitor current conditions, maintain active awareness of local conditions, and especially refrain from entering the Permanent Danger Zone and high-risk barangays.”

“DOST (Department of Science and Technology)-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates, total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and additional evacuation of areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater. Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall,” the advisory reads.

Likewise, the British government, through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office, advised its citizens traveling to, or who already are, in the Philippines to contact their respective carriers or airlines following the cancellations of some flights due to the ash fall caused by the explosion of Taal Volcano that affected several Metro Manila cities, including Pasay and Parañaque where the country’s major airports are located.