Feb 18, 2020

More than a month after the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano, local officials and residents are only beginning to survey the lands and the changes that subsequent earthquakes made on the area’s topography.

In a report by Inquirer, residents from the fishing village of Subic Ilaya noticed that some areas are now submerged in four to five feet of water after the lake’s waters crept in about 20 meters inland, something that they’ve never experienced before as the area is thought to be elevated.

Brgy. Subic Ilaya, Agoncillo

WATCH: Documented impacts of #TaalVolcano eruption in Brgy. Subic Ilaya, Agoncillo. #TaalEruption2020 #PHIVOLCSQuickResponse

Posted by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) on Thursday, January 23, 2020

While in other areas such as in San Nicolas, the opposite has happened: water has pushed back at least 5 meters away from the original shoreline. In an interview with Inquirer, Batangas provincial administrator Levi Dimaunahan said, “The land rose in one part but sank in another.”

“[The] combination of the ash pile and the [series of] tremors [has resulted in a change in topography], as if defaced by a violent punch. It’s permanently damaged.”

Other areas, like the Volcano Island, have been heavily buried in ash with homes irreparably destroyed, leaving some 6,000 former residents permanent evacuees and their old towns inhabitable as they are already declared permanent danger zones.

Taal Volcano Main Crater Lake as of 27 January 2020

PHIVOLCS-QRT drone survey of Taal Volcano Main Crater Lake (taken on 27 January 2020).

Posted by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

According to the latest bulletin from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Alert Level 2 is maintained over Taal Volcano, reminding the public that sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within Taal Volcano Island (TVI) and along its coast.

The local government said that 80 percent of the town’s power and water supply had been restored. While since most previous possible landowners in affected and subsequently closed off areas can’t return, Batangas government has set up interim housing in other towns like Ibaan, some 50 kms away from the volcano.


Header photo courtesy of Marianne Bermudez/Inquirer

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

Due to Taal eruptions, Batangas’ Barako trees might be replanted in Visayas and Mindanao

LOOK: Deeply-moving acts of bayanihan from the Taal eruptions

What are the government’s plans for the victims of Taal Volcano’s eruption?

TAGS: batangas Phivolcs Taal taal batangas taal eruption taal evacuation taal volcano volcano island