The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is closely monitoring the power situation in areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, which remains under Alert Level 4, per the assessment of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
As of 7 a.m. Monday (January 13), the NEA Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (DRRMD) reported that 57 barangays with 27,179 households under the franchise of Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BATELEC II) are without power due to the ashfall.
The affected villages are spread over the municipalities of Laurel, Talisay, and Tanauan City. “Roads leading to those areas are already closed due to ashfalls,” BATELEC II general manager Octavious Mendoza told the NEA-DRRMD in a message sent earlier this morning.
“Roads leading to those areas are already closed due to ashfalls.”
Power situation in the towns of Balete and Malvar is normal, according to BATELEC II. “We will wait for the situation to improve before we do our ocular inspections to assess the extent of damage brought by this eruption,” Mendoza added.
The Batangas I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BATELEC I), meanwhile, also reported that the municipalities of San Nicolas and Agoncillo are on forced shutdown due to the eruption as of 9 a.m. Monday. They are also closely monitoring the accumulation of ashfall over its power distribution facilities along Lemery-Taal-San Luis area.
The NEA-DRRMD earlier issued an advisory directing all electric cooperatives (ECs) in Luzon and Visayas to take appropriate contingency measures to mitigate the impact of the volcanic eruption on their electric services to consumers.
The power distribution utilities were also directed to activate their respective Emergency Response Organization (ERO) when the need arises to implement without delay appropriate emergency response plans.
Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Taal Volcano, which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” PHIVOLCS said in its 8 a.m. bulletin on Monday. This warning has been raised since late Sunday (January 12).
A total of 75 volcanic earthquakes in Taal region have also been recorded as of 5 a.m. Monday. PHIVOLCS said 32 of those earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II to V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao in Laguna and Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan in Batangas.
“Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” the PHIVOLCS said.