Relief, not added grief
The volcano, the only one of its kind within a lake in the world, has had nearly 430 earthquakes, 137 felt, ranging from Magnitude 1.2-4.1 and Intensity of 1-5 and has, as of this month, erupted 34 times in 448 years, or since 1572. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded increased volcanic activities of Taal, one of 53 active volcanoes in the archipelago, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire where the oceanic Philippine plate and several smaller micro-plates are subducting along the Philippine Trench to the East, and the Luzon, Sulu and several other small Trenches to the West. The volcanoes of the Philippines have been ranked by authorities as the most deadly and costly in the world: About 13 percent of its historic eruptions have caused fatalities, most notably at Taal in Batangas and Mayon in Albay, and 22 percent of its eruptions have caused significant damage. In only six days since its eruptions started on Sunday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has identified two zones of concern around the 311-meter high volcano: around 459,000 reside within a danger zone with a 14-kilometer radius round the volcano, while more than 930,000 people live in a wider 17-kilometer danger zone. And now Phivolcs has urged a total evacuation of everyone within the 17-kilometer radius danger zone.