Volcanic fissure spotted at popular Taal tourist trail: Phivolcs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2020 09:56 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2020 10:23 AM

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MANILA - The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has found a new fissure on a trail regularly used by tourists trekking to Taal volcano.

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the fissure extends to Daang Kastila, a tourist trail of less than 3 kilometers that leads to the main crater ridge view deck of Taal.

"May extension pala 'yung fissure na aming nakita doon sa northern side kung saan dumadaan 'yung mga turista. May bagong pag-usok doon," Solidum told radio DZMM.

"Kahit lang po maliit na explosion kasi nandoon 'yung mga steam hindi lang sa crater ang mga steam na 'yun, pati sa Daang Kastila," he said.

Fissures were earlier observed in the villages of Sinisian, Mahabang Dahilig, Dayapan, Palanas, Sangalang, Poblacion, Mataas na Bayan in Lemery town; Pansipit, Bilibinwang in Agoncillo; Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Poblacion 3, Poblacion 5 in Talisay; and Poblacion in San Nicolas.

Taal volcano remains under alert level 4, which warns of a hazardous eruption in the coming hours or days.

"Kami mismo hindi kami pumapasok doon sa lake unless kami ay magsu-survey ng nangyayari kasi 'yung biglaang steam explosion 'yun ang pinakamahirap bantayan," Solidum said.

Phivolcs said residents within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano's main crater should already evacuate.

But he clarified that the recommended high risk areas identified in the hazard map do not include those located in high places that will not be affected by pyroclastic density current.

"For example, 'yung Tagaytay Ridge kung saan maraming establisyimento, ito po ay mataas. Hindi ito kasama sa identified na high risk," he said.

"Although linawin lang natin kapag may malaking pagsabog dapat mag-expect tayo ng pagbagsak ng abo at kung tuloy-tuloy ang pagsabog maraming abo at hindi lang naman 'yung malapit lang sa bulkan. Kung ang hangin papuntang Metro Manila, posibleng abutin ang Metro Manila," he said.

Meanwhile, Solidum warned people against going to the volcano island to avoid exposing their lives to danger.

"May risk 'yan talagang nand'yan kung magkaroon ng explosion, nilalagay ng sinuman na pumupunta doon ang buhay nila sa alanganin," he said.