RESIDENTS near Taal Volcano in Batangas province were being evacuated to safer ground after one of the world’s smallest volcanoes erupted on Sunday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año ordered local government units near the volcano to evacuate people while authorities were assessing the situation.
“The most important thing to do now is to evacuate people near the volcano who are at risk,” he told dzBB radio.
Mr. Año also urged tourists to leave the place for their safety. He also ordered local chief executives to help affected residents.
Taal Volcano on the Philippines’ main Luzon island is the country’s second most active volcano. All of its eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake.
Vulcan Point in the Philippines is the world’s largest island within a lake — the Main Crater Lake — that is situated on an island — Taal Island — located in a lake ( Taal Lake) within another island, which is Luzon.
“It also happens to be one of the cones of the active Taal Volcano, so Vulcan Point is also the world’s largest volcano in a lake (Main Crater Lake) on a volcano (Taal Volcano),” according to the website of the Geography Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The Main Crater Lake also happens to be the largest lake on an island (Volcano Island) in a lake (Lake Taal) on an island (Luzon), it said.
Tourists often go to Tagaytay City, which is a two-hour drive from Manila, to get a glimpse of the picturesque Taal Volcano and Taal Lake.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert status to level 2 on Sunday afternoon due to increased steaming activity.
“The public is reminded that the main crater should be strictly off limits because sudden steam explosions can occur and high concentrations of lethal volcanic gases can be released,” the volcanic agency said on its website.
“The northern portion of the main crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, can also become hazardous when fumarolic or degassing activity along existing fissures suddenly increases,” it said.
Increased steaming activity was observed in at least five spots in Taal Volcano’s main crater. The largest activity was an explosion that generated a plume about 100 meters high, the agency said, adding that three earthquakes had been recorded related to the eruption.
The entire volcanic island is a permanent danger zone, and permanent settlement on the island is strongly not recommended, it added. — Emmanuel Tupas, PhilStar and Genshen L. Espedido