MANILA

NAIA partially resumes operations despite continued Taal unrest

AS TAAL Volcano's eruptions waned Monday morning, January 13, flight operations partially resumed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The volcano, however, remained under intense unrest and was still under Alert Level 4, which means that a major hazardous explosion could happen in hours or days.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced that operations partially resumed at 10 a.m. Monday for

departures and 12 noon for arrivals.

"This, however, will be subject to terminal capacity of the 4 NAIA Terminals and airline consent. Under the situation, separation time between flights will be longer, in order to give MIAA and CAAP better capability to manage terminal and runway capacities," the MIAA said in a statement.

As of 4 p.m., 17 flights have departed NAIA while 13 arrived.

Departing flights were given priority to clear NAIA ramps of parked planes. Airport staff have been clearing the runways, taxiways and ramps of ash since 4 a.m. Monday.

In an advisory issued at 4 p.m. Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the volcano's main crater has resumed blasting lava into the air that generated steam-laden plumes of up to two kilometers.

Phivolcs said new lateral vents, with 500-meter lava fountains, were observed on the northern flank.

Heavy ash fall was reported in Cuenca, Lemery, and Taal in Batangas.

Phivolcs reiterated that fine volcanic ash can cause irritation and breathing problems especially among the elderly and children. Long-term exposure may be harmful to respiratory health.

Affected populations were advised to avoid inhalation of ash and use N95-grade face masks or wet cloth or towel when going outdoors.

Motorists were advised to drive with extreme caution as ash can cause poor visibility and, when wet, can make roads slippery.

The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of 144 volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region since 1 p.m. Sunday, January 12.

Phivolcs also reiterated the mandatory evacuation of people within the 14-kilometer radius from the main crater. (SunStar Philippines from PR)


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