LOS BAÑOS, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology denied reports spreading around communities in Batangas and in social media that the alert status over Taal volcano had been raised to the level of critical.
“Taal’s alert status remains at alert Level 1,” said Phivolcs’ resident volcanologist Paolo Reniva.
Alert Level 1, according to Phivolcs’ latest bulletin posted online, means “that hazardous eruption is not imminent.”
False information that the volcano was placed on alert Level 3 raised concern among residents in the towns of Laurel, Talisay and Mataas na Kahoy, all located close to the volcano island. Tweets asking the public to pray that an eruption would not happen soon also spread on social media.
“People have been calling us since yesterday (Monday) as news spread that the alert was raised. We don’t know where it came from but that is just a rumor,” Reniva said on the phone from Phivolcs’ observatory in Talisay.
In Laurel, field staff of the relief organization World Vision conducting a post-typhoon assessment in the area, were also alarmed at seeing a village leader going around and warning residents about alert Level 3. Level 3 means the volcano manifests unrest with possible eruption within days to weeks.
“It’s very important that people get the right information and disaster alerts so they can prepare. Spreading false information pose additional burden to people who just experienced typhoon Glenda, especially those who still don’t have access to news,” said Aaron Aspi, a World Vision emergency communications specialist.
Power has not been fully restored in many parts of Laurel and Talisay towns since Typhoon “Glenda” struck the province and the rest of Southern Tagalog last week.