By Martin Sadongdong
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has advised the public to get only accurate and reliable information and updates on Taal volcano’s eruption from reliable sources such as official government websites and social media accounts.
“Fake news is circulating across social media platforms about the recent Taal volcanic activity that can misinform and confuse those who come across them. Do not entertain posts from unofficial sources,” the NDRRMC said in an advisory on Monday night.
The NDRRMC issued the advisory due to social media posts circulating that Taal’ alert status has already reached Level 5, which it denied.
As of Tuesday midnight, the NDRRMC said the alert status of Taal remained at Level 4.
In the website of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) at phivolcs.gov.ph, it was stated that the criteria for Alert Level 4 include “intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms, including harmonic tremor and/or ‘low frequency earthquakes’ which are usually felt, profuse steaming along existing and perhaps new vents and fissures.”
These are indicators that a hazardous eruption “is possible” within days.
Alert Level 5 criteria includes that the “base surges accompanied by eruption columns or lava fountaining or lava flows.”
It means that hazardous eruption “is in progress” and there are “extreme hazards to communities west of the volcano and ash falls on downwind sectors.”
“The NDRRMC appeals to the public to stop forwarding these fake messages. Instead, always remain alert and prepared, and get information only from reliable sources such as websites and social media accounts of the NDRRMC, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and Phivolcs,” it said.