Congress Probe on Phivolcs not needed
A congressional investigation on the perceived lack of advance warning of Taal Volcano’s eruption is neither necessary nor urgent.
There was ample and prompt warning. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) kept the public updated every step of the way, through its website and social media accounts, of the alert status of Taal Volcano. Phivolcs was not remiss in its duty. It was not sleeping on the job. It was always monitoring. Calling for an investigation now will just be an unnecessary distraction from the much more important task of continuous monitoring and action. A congressional probe would simply be a waste of time.
The volcano had long been at alert level 1 up until around morning to noontime of Jan. 12.
Then the situation rapidly developed in the early afternoon of Jan. 12. There was a bulletin issued at 2:30 p.m. raising the alert to level 2.
Meanwhile, there were two earthquakes that happened near Taal that same afternoon of Jan. 12 when the Taal Volcano status was already at alert level 2.
Alert was raised to level 3 one and a half hours after the 2:30 p.m. Taal bulletin.
It was raised to alert level 4 another three and a half hours later on Jan. 12.
Each time there was a significant change in the behavior of Taal Volcano, Phivolcs issued a bulletin.
We are still at alert level 4 until now.
There are still no earthquake and volcano eruption prediction technologies available.
By the way, text alerts are not Phivolcs’ job, it’s the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s. If the congressman calling for the probe does not know that, then he should investigate himself.
We suggest to Congress that instead of wasting their time and the people’s money, they approve the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience, give Phivolcs and state universities bigger science and research budgets, and forever ban anyone from building anything on Taal Volcano’s lake island and its permanent danger zone.
Earl Victor L. Rosero, [email protected]
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