Local government leaders who will insist on providing “window hours” to the Taal Volcano evacuees intending to retrieve belongings and feed animals in the areas within the danger zone will be dealt with accordingly, the Interior department said Tuesday.
“The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced that there will be no more window hours for those areas susceptible to three risk factors as mentioned by PHIVOLCS in their assessment,” DILG-CALABARZON Director Elias Fernandez said in a television interview.
“If the local chief executives concerned refuse to heed the advisory coming from the DILG, we will issue them show-cause orders,” he said.
PHIVOLCS says the communities within the 14-kilometer radius from Taal Volcano’s main crater may be affected by the volcanic tsunami, ballistic projectiles, and base surge should the expected hazardous eruption occur.
But the agency said Tuesday it understood the concerns of local government units in the high-risk areas of Taal Volcano. However, it will not change its opinion on the dangers of an imminent explosive eruption.
PHIVOLCS’ Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division head Maria Antonia Bornas made the statement a day after Talisay, Batangas, Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan lambasted the agency for supposedly alarming the public with its volcano warnings. Natanauan questioned the PHIVOLCS’ ability to predict an eruption and said his constituents should be allowed to return to their houses.
The head of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) police on Tuesday warned Natanauan that he will be thrown into Taal Volcano as a “sacrifice should residents listen to him and return to their homes in the lockdown areas.
“Nakikiusap po kami sa aming mga kababayan na kung pwede po sumunod tayo sa batas na ipinapatupad ngayon, CALABARZON police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said in an interview over DZRH.
“Especially in the lockdown areas wherein we are now prohibited to enter within the 14-kilometer radius.
Despite a decline in the activities of Taal Volcano, PHIVOLCS said the danger is not yet over.
Bornas, Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief, cited the occurrence of less earthquakes in Taal Volcano.
Since Jan. 12, 1 p.m., the Philippine Seismic Network recorded 718 volcanic earthquakes, but only five volcanic quakes were observed since Jan. 20, 5 a.m. until the following day in the morning.
Still, Bornas told evacuees not to go back to the volcano island and high-risk areas in the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano’s main crater.
In its 8 a.m. bulletin, PHIVOLCS noted the volcano’s “weak steam emission” that generated ash plumes 500 meters to 600 meters high.