Gov’t to 'strictly' bar people from living in Taal Volcano island

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 03:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2020 05:04 PM

A view of the destruction left behind at the Taal Volcano Island on January 14, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - No one will be allowed to live in Taal Volcano island following its latest eruptive activity, Malacañang said Thursday as it warned of the dangers of staying there.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said authorities will strictly implement the “no man’s land” policy for the island, adding that an information campaign is needed to educate locals on the threats of the volcano.

“Talagang no man’s land dapat ‘yon ever since... Dati nang may nagbabantay do'n eh, siguro iistriktuhan nila,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

(That should really be a no man’s land… Maybe authorities will be stricter in guarding the island.)

“Ang kailangan mo doon, talagang education sa mga tao, to make them realize that it’s really dangerous for them,” he added.

(You need to educate people to make them realize that it’s really dangerous for them.)

Thousands have fled the towns surrounding Taal Volcano after it spewed ash and steam and threatened a “hazardous eruption.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier asked President Rodrigo Duterte to bar residents of the volcano island from returning due to the unpredictable threat of eruption. 

The President on Tuesday warned villagers, warned villagers who fled the rumbling volcano against returning to their homes.

“Nobody is allowed to go back until such time you are safe,” Duterte told evacuees in Batangas City.

Taal Volcano is still under Alert Level 4, the second-highest danger level, which means a "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," according to state seismologists.