Taal Volcano Eruption Update 2020: The Island Remains Closed For Tourism

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The Taal Volcano may be small with just 47 craters but remains the most active in the world. The recent January 12th Taal Volcano eruption caused not only the island to alter but the surrounding land as well. The phreatic eruption last month caused the Taal lake water to rise as well.

Early this morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) downgraded to Alert Level 2 for the volcano. This alert is classified under eruption threat and access to the Taal Volcano Island is prohibited. In its statement, the PHIVOLCS said 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.”

Days after the eruption, the water levels rose by 20 meters and submerged a part of the Sitio Mauna Loa shore land. While one part of this lakeshore village sunk, Banyaga witnessed the land rise as the water receded. Ash pile and the n number of tremors have caused changes in the island’s topography. 

The destruction on the Taal Volcano Island is permanent and the provincial government declared it a permanent danger zone. This declaration means the island will not allow human settlement or any kind of activity. The areas around have been heavily affected with over 7000 people displaced and no power and water supply. Taal Volcano erupting also caused a heavy dip in the areas tourism.

A number of evacuation sites have been set up in order to house all the people affected. Many evacuated residents hope to reclaim the land and begin recuperating. On the other hand, experts remain hesitant as the area was permanently damaged and residing there can cause serious health issues.

The eruption in January reported a total of 5 deaths. Initially, the death toll stood at 4 dead and 1 missing, however the body of the 26-year-old Filipino was found in 16th Feb 2020. The dreadful eruption forced the government to close tourism in the area of Batangas. However, the government is making efforts to recover the virtual wasteland in hopes to reinstate tourism by summer.  

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