DepEd postpones opening of classes in Taal volcano island

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Jun 15 2010 01:40 AM | Updated as of Jun 15 2010 09:40 AM

BATANGAS, Philippines - The Batangas office of the Department of Education has suspended the opening of classes in Pulo Elementary School in the town of Talisay and Kalawit Elementary in the town of Balete. Both schools are located in Volcano Island near the crater of Taal Volcano.

According to Edmon Pampulan, officer-in-charge of Pulo Elementary School, they were advised to postpone the opening of classes while the volcano’s alert status remains in level 2.

Pulo Elementary School has 7 classrooms for its 300 grade school students.

Pampulan said they will incorporate Saturday classes to the school's calendar to make up for the school’s late opening.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) resident volcanologist Alan Loza said they would only advise schools located in the island to open when the restive volcano’s alert status has been lowered to level 1.

“When we recommended voluntary evacuation, we specified that the elderly and kids should be prioritized so there should be no more students in the area,” Loza said.

In the last 24 hours, Phivolcs registered 23 volcanic earthquakes, 3 of which were equivalent to Intensity 1 and 2.