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Tagaytay’s tourism strong despite Taal Volcano activity —exec


Tourism in Tagaytay City remains strong even after the phreatomagmatic bursts recorded at Taal Volcano on Saturday, a local official said.

“Okay naman sa Tagaytay at hindi naman nabawasan ang mga turista natin dahil sa naganap sa Bulkang Taal, sa pagputok nito. Pareho pa rin po, nananatiling malakas ang turismo ng Tagaytay kahapon at ngayon,” Tagaytay City Public Information Officer Angie Batongbacal said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview on Sunday.

(Tagaytay didn't see a drop in tourists after the eruption at Taal Volcano. Tagaytay's tourism remains strong yesterday and today.)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) on Saturday raised the volcano's alert status from Level 2 (increasing unrest) to Level 3 (magmatic unrest) after its main crater "generated a short-lived phreatomagmatic burst.”

This was "followed by nearly continuous phreatomagmatic activity that generated plumes 1500 m accompanied by volcanic earthquake and infrasound signals," PHIVOLCS added.

In its website, PHIVOLCS noted that Alert Level 3 means "magma is near or at the surface, and activity could lead to hazardous eruption in weeks. Danger zones may be expanded up to eight kilometers from the active crater.”

Asked if the Tagaytay City local government unit (LGU) will control tourists' arrivals due to this situation, Batongbacal said, “Sa ngayon po kasi ay nasa alerto lamang kami at nagmo-monitor kami ng mga mangyayari. Subalit, bukas po ang ating mga establisyemento dahil tumigil naman na ang activity ng Taal Volcano this morning.”

(Right now we are just on alert and we are monitoring what will happen. However, our establishments remain open because the Taal Volcano activity has stopped this morning.)

PHIVOLCS recorded two more minor phreatomagmatic eruptions before sunrise on Sunday morning.

Batongbacal emphasized that government agencies and local authorities are on standby, putting into mind the scenarios that occurred during Taal Vocano's last eruption in January 2020.

“Dahil nga sa nangyari noong 2020, nakaantabay na po ang mga ahensya, ang PNP [Philippine National Police] natin, ang ating disaster control at management, of course ang LGU, nakaantabay lang kami kung anuman ang mangyari sa Batangas,” she added.

(Because of what happened in 2020, the agencies including the PNP and disaster control and management, and the LGU are on standby for whatever happens in Batangas.)

Local officials said more than 900 families have so far been evacuated from some barangays in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas after the minor eruptions at Taal Volcano. — BM, GMA News

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