Phivolcs sees lesser chance of eruption

There is now a 30-percent probability for Taal Volcano’s explosive eruption from its previous 50 percent chance to do so, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Thursday.

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PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said volcanic activity changes from day to day.

“Actually, day(s) ago, it was 50-50 percent due to high emission of sulfur dioxide,” he said. “The condition of the volcano can change, especially when the magma has reached the surface.”

He said that a 30 percent probability is still high, particularly within the 14-kilometer high-risk radius from the volcano’s main crater.

Ma. Antonia Bornas, Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division head, said they had even considered a high 70-percent probability of having a major eruption due to the moderate to high level of seismic activity.

Solidum said they were looking at different possible scenarios.

“It is possible that there could be a strong eruption, and that would be dangerous… It could also stop,” he said.

“Based on the history ng Taal Volcano, its story does not end just there. Sometimes, its eruption could happen between months or a year, especially now that there is a resupply of magma,” he added.

If the magma is not ejected, it could solidify into rocks, and if it continues to rise, it could push the old ones up, he said.

Alert Level 4 remained over Taal Volcano as of Thursday, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III ordered the Bureau of Customs to donate all of its seized food items fit for human consumption to the swelling number of evacuees from Batangas and Cavite following Taal volcano’s Jan. 12 eruption.

Customs Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco said the agency immediately turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development some 32 pallets containing 180 boxes each of canned Libby’s Vienna Sausage seized at the Port of Manila in March 2018. The canned goods will be donated to the Taal evacuees.

The donation will help feed 53,000 families or around 267,000 evacuees, Dy Buco said.

Dy Buco said the Food and Drug Administration has cleared the shipment of sausages as fit for human consumption.

The deed of donation for the food items has also been signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and approved by Dominguez to set in motion the process of sending the food items at once to the evacuees.

Dominguez said he was also informed that Guerrero had already instructed all Customs ports to determine whether other items, aside from foodstuff, can be donated to the increasing number of Taal evacuees.

“We have also coordinated with the Department of Agriculture for them to determine whether several containers of frozen fish seized at the Manila International Container Port and forfeited in favor of the government are fit for human consumption. If found to be okay, the same will be donated,” Dy Buco said in his report to Dominguez.

On Dominguez’s earlier instructions, the BOC had been donating its seized rice shipments to the DSWD for use in its disaster relief operations.

The bureau has also turned over other confiscated items to the DSWD such as emergency survival blankets, bed sheets, blankets and towels, clothes and face masks seized from various customs ports.

Meanwhile, House leaders assured Batangas local officials as well as Taal Volcano eruption victims that the chamber will continue working for immediate relief for the victims, most of whom now live in evacuation centers, as well the eventual rehabilitation of areas affected by the disaster.

House leaders led by Speaker Peter Cayetano and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez made the promise following the chamber’s plenary session held at the capital city of Batangas on Wednesday.

Local government officials and evacuees expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to them to air their urgent concerns.

Cayetano assured the evacuees that several government agencies are now working for the alleviation of their plight and the House will swiftly pass measures, including the supplemental budget that will be used to fund the rehabilitation plan.

READ: Congress needs to okay P10 billion more for Taal victims—Win

The House leaders also committed to expedite the deliberations of the Department of Disaster Resilience but said they don’t want to disrupt on going government programs, especially those of the PHIVOLCS that is actively monitoring the situation in Taal.

Earlier, the Committee on Appropriations approved the funding provisions required under the Disaster Resilience Bill.

Romualdez said the House held the session in Batangas so that the local officials and representatives of victims “could witness the institutional initiatives” that the chamber is doing with respect to the relief and rehabilitation efforts that will be done in the volcano eruption devastated areas.

Also on Thursday, the provincial government of Cavite dispatched relief operations teams to distribute food to families affected by Taal’s eruption.

All the cities and municipalities were covered in the four-day relief operations initially serving a total of 6,424 affected families from Batangas. The activity will continue to serve more families in the coming days.

Aside from the relief from the provincial government, donations from other government agencies, private groups and individuals continue to pour in which will also be delivered to the affected families.  

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Topics: Taal Volcano’s , eruption , Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology , Renato Solidum
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