Central Luzon PNP on high alert after Taal eruption
Location: Central Luzon, Philippines
Date Published: January 13, 2020
Police Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonina, Central Luzon police chief, on Monday, ordered more than 9,000 cops in Region 3 on full alert status, instructing 1,000 of them to get ready for disaster and relief operations in areas affected by the eruptions of Taal Volcano.
Maria Theresa Escolano, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense, has raised to blue the status of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Central Luzon to monitor the effects of the eruptions on the region.
Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda suspended classes in all levels in public and private schools on Monday following ashfall warnings by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
At the Clark Freeport, six international flights from London, Tokyo, Xiamen, and Los Angeles were diverted to the Clark International Airport (CRK). Bus companies brought the passengers to Manila, according to Teri Lopez, communications officer of Lipad, the private operator of CRK. So far, five airlines canceled 10 flights.
Reports from the Japanese Meteorological Agency showed that an ash cloud from Taal Volcano reached all the way to Northern Luzon on Sunday due to 111 kph southerlies blowing northward.
A volcanic ash advisory from the Japanese Meteorological Agency at 3:20 p.m. Sunday (Manila time) showed a southerly wind blowing north at 30 knots (55 kph). The top of the ash cloud was at 43,000 feet. Another JMA volcanic ash advisory at 4:20 pm. Sunday showed the southerly getting stronger at 45 knots (83 kph). The height of the ash cloud was estimated at 55,000 feet and covered areas such as Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, and National Capital Region.
Pagasa weather specialist Ariel Rojas earlier told radio DZMM the height of the ash cloud plus the direction and straight of the wind was blowing the particles towards Central Luzon.
Transport authorities on Sunday put on hold all flights in and out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as ash clouds can diminish visibility, damage flight control systems, and cause jet engines to fail.
A 7:20 p.m. JMA volcanic ash advisory showed the ash cloud at 55,000 feet covering the entire Central Luzon. The southerlies had also strengthened to 55 knots or 101 kph
By 10:20 p.m. Sunday, the winds strengthened further at 60 knots or 111 kph, with the ash cloud reaching a height of 55,000 feet covering Central and Northern Luzon, according to the JMA advisory.
By 1:20 a.m. Monday, the wind direction shifted to a northeast direction even as it strengthened to 75 knots or 138 kph, according to the JMA advisory. The top of the ash cloud was now at 55,000 feet and had reached the north Philippine Sea.
By 4:20 a.m., the wind was now blowing in a northeast direction while remaining steady at 75 knots (138 kph). The top of the ash cloud remained at 55,000 feet but had also widened.
By 7:20 a.m., the ash cloud had continued to move further east, with a small portion covering Quezon province at 36,000 feet. A larger portion of the ash cloud at 55,000 feet continued to touch the tip of Cagayan and Isabela.
According to a Japanese Meteorological Agency forecast, the larger portion of the ash cloud will be out of the Philippine landmass by 1:20 pm at 56,000 feet.
A smaller portion of the ash cloud will hover southeast of Polillo, north of Camarines Norte at 37,000 feet.
Meanwhile, PAGASA weather bureau Aldczar Aurelio said winds on Monday will blow ash from the volcano towards Quezon province, away from Metro Manila, where it earlier coated cars and roofs. Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas will experience rains a day after Taal Volcano belched a giant ash cloud that suspended operations at the capital's main airport overnight, forced the cancellation of classes and government work, and sent thousands to evacuation centers, said Aurelio.