The Philippine Coast Guard on Monday assisted Batangas residents who sneaked inside the Taal Volcano island to secure their farm animals — despite the declaration of a “total lockdown” in the area.
In a statement, the PCG said personnel from Task Force Taal in Southern Tagalog were on patrol in Taal lake to install buoys around the 7-kilometer danger zone of the volcano when they encountered the civilians.
“The PCG Task Force Taal assisted them in rescuing the animals so they may immediately and safely evacuate from the danger zone this morning,” the PCG said.
During their patrol, the PCG said the task force also measured the depth of the lake in preparation for the installment of 49 buoys around the island.
On Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lowered the alert status of Taal Volcano after a decline in volcanic earthquakes, and other volcanic activities in the area.
Two weeks after the volcano’s eruption on January 12, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas allowed the return of all residents to the evacuated towns — expect Agoncillo and Laurel — due to the shrinking of the danger zone from the previous 14-kilometers to 7-kilometers.
The towns of Alitatag, Balete, Cuenca, Lemery, Lipa City, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay, and Tanauan City have been opened once again to civilians and affected residents have been given the option to return to their homes. PNA.GOV.PH