Residents evacuated from Taal Volcano Island

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    AUTHORITIES yesterday began evacuating residents from the Taal Volcano Island in Batangas due to increased volcanic activity, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

    “This is just a precautionary measure,” NDRRMC deputy spokesman Mark Timbal said in a phone interview, referring to the preemptive evacuation led by the Philippine Coast Guard.

    Timbal could not immediately how many people have so far been evacuated or how many were being targeted to be evacuated but said no one should be in the island which is a permanent danger zone. He noted that President Duterte, following Taal’s phreatic or steam-driven activity in January last year, said no people should be around the island.

    Timbal said the situation in Taal’s current activity is not that concerning “but we noticed there are people in the island so we just want to make sure no one will be in harm’s way just in case (something happens).”

    Timbal said people in the island were evacuated last year but some returned when the volcano became less active. “This time, we are going to make sure there will be no people there, hence the evacuation,” said Timbal.