At least 19 light earthquakes—the strongest recorded at magnitude 4.9— have hit five towns in Batangas since this morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported.
The quakes occurred in the towns of Bauan, Mabini, Lemery, Agoncillo, and San Nicolas, with the weakest quake registering at a magnitude 1.2. The series of tremors were first recorded at 10:31am in Bauan, and the latest at 2:15pm in Lemery.
On Twitter, netizens have expressed concern over Taal Volcano’s renewed activity, which first erupted over three months ago. The eruption displaced at least 300,000 families living in Batangas, where the volcano is located, as it blanketed nearby towns in volcanic ash. The eruption cost businesses as much as PHP6.7 billion (US$131 million) in lost incomes, on top of PHP3 billion (US$ 59 million) in agricultural damages.
In its bulletin today, PHIVOLCS said the volcano remains at Level 1, which means it is displaying abnormal activity and that minor ashfall is spewing out of it. However, this is a far cry from Alert Level 4 (indicating imminent eruption) which was raised when the volcano erupted in January. Taal’s alert level was first lowered to Level 1 in early March.
It added that it is “closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated.”
Over on Twitter, netizens like @Marso5Man have pleaded with the volcano tweeting, “Taal, please stay calm. People aren’t ready for another blast.”
Taal, please stay calm. People aren’t ready for another blast. pic.twitter.com/WkwK7D5she
— MarsoCincoMan (@Marso5Man) April 22, 2020
Users like @Polabeers tried to fan off the panic by tweeting, “A friend of mine lives near taal lake and there is no eruption occurring in taal volcano. Stop spreading rumor without any concrete proof.”
A friend of mine lives near taal lake and there is no eruption occurring in taal volcano. Stop spreading rumor without any concrete proof. They’re currently experiencing series of earthquakes but she said it wasnt like the normal quakes but they feel like something moving beneath pic.twitter.com/0HTd3KNyCB
— Paula Dela Cruz (@Polabeers) April 22, 2020
And netizens like @SalazarKerby have moved for a call to action, as he tweeted, “Taal & #COVID19 only proves that Science and Research should always be a part of the priority programs of the Government.”
Taal & #COVID19 only proves that Science and Research should always be a part of the priority programs of the Government. ❤️😉
— Kerby Javier Salazar (@SalazarKerby) April 22, 2020
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