NDRRMC: 1.5K families evacuated due to Taal Volcano’s seismic activity

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MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that the number of households evacuated as a result of the Taal Volcano’s seismic activity has now reached 1,563, or around 5,583 people.

According to the data from the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Mark Cashean Timbal, NDRRMC spokesperson, said about 1,076 families or 3,617 individuals are being sheltered in 22 evacuation facilities as of Sunday evening, while another 537 households are with relatives.

“Majority of our evacuees come from (the towns of) Laurel and Agoncillo. The count also includes evacuees from municipalities that had voluntary evacuations,” Timbal said.

Aside from Laurel and Agoncillo, other Batangas municipalities that underwent voluntary evacuations due to Taal Volcano rumblings were Taal, Lemery, Balete, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Talisay, and Tanauan City.

The entire Taal Volcano Island, as well as the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, is a Permanent Danger Zone, and entry is restricted.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported that SO2 (sulfur oxide) gas emissions from Taal Volcano were “anomalously high” on Sunday, averaging 22,628 tonnes per day, the highest ever recorded.

As long as Alert Level 3 is in effect, current SO2 parameters imply continuous magmatic extrusion at the main crater, which could lead to more explosions.