Jan 19, 2020 09:57 PM EST
Despite the warning of a possible eruption, some residents and animal rescuers still went back to the island to rescue stranded animals.
Among them is Manolito Malaluan, who embarked on a motorboat at the dawn of Thursday to rescue his two horses. According to him, the moment his horses, named Cristina and Bakasan, saw him, they were neighing as if they were happy that he came back.
Including these two, at least 1,000 horses were trapped on the island with no means of escaping. Many residents depend on them for livelihood — as a means of transportation for tourists who want to go to the rim of the volcano crater.
The Asian chapter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also conducted its own rescue mission on Wednesday. One of their rescues is Palakitik — a friendly dog whom they have known for years from running a horse veterinary clinic.
According to a blog posted on Wednesday, the rescuers initially feared that Palakitik did not survive the earlier blast. However, the moment they called her name, a visibly overjoyed dog came running to them.
The dog, along with 70 other animals, was now taken out of the island. They were aided by the Philippine Coast Guard.
WATCH: The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescued volunteers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) after they were left on an island in San Isidro, Batangas during the evacuation of several trapped animals amid #TaalEruption today, 15 January 2020. pic.twitter.com/SCX7Zv7PJ9 — Philippine Coast Guard (@coastguardph) January 15, 2020
However, the rescue mission was halted due to another threat of eruption.
A deadly danger zone
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) once again warned the people who refused to leave the 14-kilometer danger zone about the possibility for “hazardous eruption” to happen.
According to Danniko Rivera, Phivolcs Senior Science Research Specialist, the fast movement of the volcanic flow can definitely kill someone within the vicinity.
The volcano has been a lull, yet it retained its Alert Level 4 — meaning, a hazardous, explosive eruption might happen any time. The state geohazard agency said that such prediction was based on the 1754 and 1911 eruptions.
Although it appeared that there have been fewer activities, there was still some ground movement, said Rivera.
The volcanologists also said that a base surge–or a horizontal flow–will happen at the speed of 60-kilometer per hour, similar to the average speed of a car. The surge can easily reach the mainland that surrounds the volcano.
The temperature of a magma ranges between 600 degrees Celsius to 1,000 degrees Celsius. And inhaling the hot gases coming from it will instantly kill you since it will “cook your skin” instantly, said Carlo Arcilla, a Geological Sciences professor at the University of the Philippines.
Phivolcs also mentioned another possible scenario: as the volcano belches ashes from the top, it also sends blocks of rocks flying and fatally hit people nearby.
As of Sunday, Phivolcs has recorded a total of 634 volcanic tremors. The previously identified fissures have also grown bigger.
The volcano erupted on January 5, forcing at least 70,000 residents of Batangas and Cavite to flee from their homes and stay. Meanwhile, due to the thick ash belched by the volcano, crops were blanketed and destroyed, resulting in about ₱3 billion (about $59 billion) worth of damage, the agriculture sector reported.
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