Saturday, April 23, 2011

Philippine Naval fleet ready for evacuation assistance at Taal Volcano

Xinhua, Saturday, April 23, 2011

As the seismic activity at the Volcano Taal has been keeping active, the Philippine Navy ordered a nearby fleet to stand by, in case Taal Volcano erupts anytime, according to the military sources on Saturday.

About a company size of troops from the Philippine Fleet are on standby throughout the holy week to provide evacuation and rescue assistance to more than 1,000 caretakers who are reportedly left behind in the danger zone, Jose Luis Alano, Commander of the Philippine Fleet, said in a press release on Saturday.

The Philippine Fleet is the nearest Naval facility that can respond immediately in case Taal Volcano erupts. Aside from the troops, the Fleet Support Force is prepared to deploy rubber boats, trucks, life vests, a team of divers, and an ambulance with a medical team.

Taal Volcano, an island situated in the middle of Taal lake in Batangas province of north Philippines, has more than 5,000 residents, most of whom were already evacuated to safer grounds.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology ( PHILVOLCS) recorded 19 earthquakes in the past 24 hours, one of those event which occurred at 4:31 a.m. Saturday was felt at Intensity III. The temperature at the Main Crater Lake has increased from 30.5 degrees Celsius to 31.5 degrees Celsius.

PHIVOLCS advises the public to keep away from the Main Crater, because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

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