Taal Volcano

Disaster preparedness manual for Taal Volcano eruption launched

Dwight de Leon
Disaster preparedness manual for Taal Volcano eruption launched

TAAL VOLCANO. A short-lived phreatomagmatic eruption occurs at 5:18 am on July 7, 2021.

Phivolcs video screenshot

The manual is the result of the collaboration among the disaster risk reduction and management officers of Batangas, Cavite, and Tagaytay City

Philippine authorities on Wednesday, July 21, introduced a disaster preparedness manual for future Taal Volcano eruptions, after the tourist attraction became more restive since its phreatic explosion in January 2020.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Calabarzon said the disaster risk reduction and management officers in Batangas, Cavite, and Tagaytay City worked together to come up with the “Oplan Listo” manual specifically for Taal Volcano.

“It will assure the public that our local officials have adequate and appropriate plans on responding to another possible Taal Volcano eruption in the future,” DILG Calabarzon chief Ariel Iglesia said in a virtual forum.

The manual includes a checklist of early preparedness actions – from enabling policies to responsibilities of local authorities – which the local government units (LGUs) need to undertake when there is no threat of disasters or during peacetime.

There are also checklists of critical preparedness actions when the threat is imminent, and early recovery and rehabilitation actions as part of the post-disaster response.

Aside from a disaster response manual for Taal Volcano, the Local Government Academy said similar guidebooks were created for other active volcanoes, namely Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Bulusan, Mt. Mayon, and Mt. Kanlaon, since the LGA’s first meeting with focal persons from various regions in August 2020.

“This encourages these regions to share their respective, long records of historical data on volcanic activities, with the potential to enhance the current understanding of volcanic eruption and their impacts along with their set of policies and practices,” said El Dimaano, who represented LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina during the forum.

“Making use of this unshared and kept useful data as inputs in the proposed manual for a volcanic eruption will enrich and add to our LGUs’ capacity to anticipate, prepare for, and mitigate the consequences of future eruptions,” he added.

The creation of a consolidated disaster preparedness manual for volcanic eruptions is still ongoing, the LGA said.

State volcanologists issued Alert Level 3 on Taal Volcano on July 1, following its phreatomagmatic eruption, which “involves both magma and water, which typically interact explosively,” according to the United States Geological Survey.

Before Taal Volcano’s increased activity in early July, it erupted on January 12, 2020, the first in 42 years. That resulted in the displacement of thousands of families and damage worth millions of pesos. – Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.