By Martin Sadongdong
In a span of 12 hours, 74 earthquakes were recorded by authorities in Taal volcano located in Batangas, indicating that magma continues to rise and the threat of an explosive eruption remains, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Friday.
NDRRMC Ricardo Jalad said 915 earthquakes were noted by experts in Taal as of 6 a.m. of January 24, higher than the 841 quakes as of 6 p.m. of January 23.
Of the shakes, 176 were felt with magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 and intensity of I to V.
The other quakes, on the other hand, were recorded through the scientists’ instruments.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Taal spewed a tall column of steam early Friday after days of having a lull in its volcanic activities at least on the surface level.
Meanwhile, Taal’s steam-driven eruption last January 12 has already affected 88,842 families or 346,244 individuals, Jalad said.
At least 37,311 families or 137,538 individuals were temporarily sheltered in 488 evacuation centers in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and National Capital Region (NCR). Some 37,230 families or 144,907 individuals opted to go with their relatives or friends, Jalad added.
In Metro Manila, the ash fall brought about by Taal’s eruption nearly two weeks ago has affected 663 families or 2,459 individuals in the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Taguig, Quezon and San Juan.
There have been fresh reports of ashfall in some areas in Metro Manila after Taal’s newest steam-driven eruption.
Jalad said the damage to agriculture in Batangas, Laguna and Quezon stands at P3.21 billion.
On the other hand, government agencies have provided relief items to the affected families worth P26.9 million, the disaster-response chief said.
As of writing, Alert Level 4 was still raised over Taal and authorities advised the public to keep out of the 14-km danger zone.