Amidst chaos and impending big eruption, local residents are being forced to evacuate in areas 14km radius miles and nearby towns affected by the on-going volcanic activity in Taal Volcano. Alert level 4 is still up as per PHIVOLCS advisory and those who are in the danger zones should leave immediately should a disastrous eruption cannot be avoided.
Since January 12, the first day of Taal Volcano’s unrest, the world has set its eyes in this once heavily visited tourism site in south of Metro Manila and on the lookout for bulletin reports from authorized agencies, news reports, blogs, and netizens’ posts in social media.
While this incident brought mixed feelings, we are also greeted with terminologies that we don’t frequently and normally encounter in our daily lives. Until now.
These words have been around but some of them are unfamiliar to us.
Here are some terminologies that will help us keep on track of what is happening in Taal Volcano.
Lockdown – A state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure. This is implemented as course of action to maintain peace and order usually by the government to protect the people from impending disaster.
Fissures – Split or cracks that form a long, narrow opening. This is what we called ‘bitak’ in Filipino language.
PHIVOLCS – Not PHILVOCS, The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is a service institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that is principally mandated to mitigate disasters that may arise from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami and other related geotectonic phenomena.
Magma – Hot fluid or semifluid material below or within the earth’s crust from which lava and other igneous rock is formed on cooling.
Lava – Hot molten or semifluid rock erupted from a volcano or fissure, or solid rock resulting from cooling of this.
Lahar – A destructive mudflow on the slopes of a volcano. It can occur with or without a volcanic eruption. Heavy rainfall on unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits could greatly affect in the formation of lahar. We first heard of lahar when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.
Prheatic eruption – This is a steam-blast eruption produced when magma heats ground water or surface water.
Sulfur dioxide – A toxic gas released naturally by volcanic activity and is produced as a by-product of copper extraction and the burning of fossil fuels contaminated with sulfur compounds.
Ashfall – A rain of airborne ash resulting from volcanic eruption. Ashful are harmful and hazardous to our health if it’s inhaled and breathed.
N95 mask – A safety device that covers the nose and mouth and helps protect the wearer from breathing in some hazardous substances. An N95 mask protects you from breathing in small microscoooc particles in the air such as dust, ashfall, and mold.
Force evacuation – This is a directive measure designed for small geographic areas affected by local disaster or emergency. These are issued as a “last resort” when a disaster or emergency has been declared and when danger of loss of life is imminent, and conditions exist that critically imperil or endanger the lives of those in the defined area.
Volcanic crater – A volcanic crater is an approximately circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is typically a bowl-shaped feature within which occurs a vent or vents.
As of this writing, the third day of the volcanic unrest, we are still monitoring the activities and latest reports from PHIVOLCS, NDRRMC, and the Office of the President. Let’s pray for Taal and Batangas.