Taal Volcano ash can travel a hundred kilometers or more

first_img“How many people are being affected bythis eruption? I ask everybody to pray that Taal’s eruption won’t last long andwon’t affect so many of our people,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas yesterday. ILOILO City – The erupting TaalVolcano in Batangas province may be hundreds of kilometers away but Ilonggosshould still be concerned. Volcanic ash can reach distant locations. No area in the region has so farreported ash fall, said Atty. Ramar Niel Pascua, chief of the Legal Section ofEMB Region 6. According to Mayor Treñas, he hasfriends in Tagaytay City overlooking the Taal Volcano and in Metro Manila whoreported experiencing ash fall from the eruption. The Philippine Institute ofVolcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level at Taal Volcano tofour yesterday, meaning an “explosive eruption” could happen in the cominghours or days. GREEN AND ASH-FREE. The forest cover of Tapaz, Capiz in central Panay Island remains verdant and not covered with volcanic ash. No ash fall from Taal Volcano’s eruption in faraway Batangas province has so far been reported in any part of the island and the rest of Western Visayas, according to the Environmental Management Bureau that is monitoring Region 6’s air quality. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The TaalVolcano, about 60 kilometers south of Manila, is one of the country’s mostactive and dangerous, owing to the number of people that live in its immediatevicinity. “(The shardsof glass) are hazardous to the lungs,” Michalski said. “You don’t want stufflike that in your lungs. It can get lodged in there and make you quite ill.” Ash from thevolcano – which carries microscopic shards of glass – could potentially becarried 100 kilometers or more, contaminating the air and water supplies indistant locations, according to Joseph Michalski, director of the Earth andPlanetary Science division at the University of Hong Kong, in an interview withthe Cable News Network (CNN). “Let us pray that we will be sparedfrom both man-made and natural calamities,” said Alcayaga. Toxic gases emitted from the eruptionare another threat, Michalski added. PHIVOLCSrequested a “total evacuation” of everyone within a 17-kilometer radius aroundthe volcano. This area, considered a volcanic danger zone, is home to more than450,000 residents, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordinationof Humanitarian Affairs. The distance between this city andBatangas is approximately 376 kilometers, and by the nautical highway (via rollon, roll off ship), it is 552 kilometers. This is a considerable distance butash from exploding volcanoes such as Taal could travel for hundreds ofkilometers. Governmentagencies have urged a “total evacuation” of nearly half a million peoplenearManila after Taal spewed ash up to 14 kilometers into the air on Sunday,prompting warnings of a possible “explosive eruption.” Father Edcel Alcayaga of Iloilo City’sParish of San Jose de Placer appealed for prayers, too. As of this writing yesterday, WesternVisayas remained free from Taal’s volcanic ash, according to the EnvironmentMonitoring and Enforcement Division of the Environmental Management Bureau(EMB) in Region 6. As ofyesterday, more than 16,400 people had sought shelter in temporary evacuationcenters set up by the authorities. The total number of evacuees is likely to behigher, however, with many people choosing to stay with family members andrelatives in other parts of the country. (Witha report from CNN/PN)last_img read more