Boaters brave Taal Lake to return to Taal Volcano island amid eruption

(Eagle News) — In this video taken by Eagle News Service correspondent Ghadzs Rodelas early Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, 2020, boaters brave the seemingly serene Taal Lake to go back to Taal volcano island despite the existing government advisory of “total evacuation” of the island.

Our correspondent said that the men in the boat were out to check the condition of their horses left on the island, and to bring them back as they were concerned for the animals’ safety.

Video taken before 7 a.m. Jan. 14, 2020, Tuesday, two days since Taal Volcano started intense steam and ash eruptions.

Many of the Taal Volcano residents tried to go back to the island to secure their properties or to check on their animals. Many have tried to bring to safety their animals, bringing them back to the boat.

Rodelas said that he also saw one of the returning Taal Volcano resident bringing at least one of their horses back to safety after travelling across the Taal Lake on a boat. The horse had been injured because of the intense volcanic activity in the volcano island, he said.

In this screen grab of the video taken by Eagle News Service correspondent Ghadzs Rodelas, boaters brave the seemingly serene Taal Lake to go back to Taal volcano island on Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, 2020 despite the continuous eruption of the volcano. (Eagle News Service)

The horses are the means of livelihood of some of the residents in the volcano island, as they are used to bring tourists to the main crater of the volcano, or to simply tour them around the island.

Taal Volcano’s main crater has exhibited “continuous eruption” for the past 24 hours that created fountains of lava as high as 500 meters and about two kilometers of dark gray steam plumes, according to the 8.m. Taal Volcano bulletin of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) which also noted “flashes of volcanic lighting” at the base of the plumes.

“For the past 24 hours, Taal Volcano’s activity has been characterized by continuous eruption of the Main Crater due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity,” the bulletin said.

“This ongoing eruption generated 500-meter tall lava fountains topped by dark gray steam-laden plumes reaching approximately 2 kilometers tall that dispersed ash to the southwest and west of the Main Crater.”

Alert Level 4 is still in effect over Taal Volcano, which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” said PHIVOLCS.

It again strongly reiterated the need for “total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater.”


(Eagle News Service)