The Taal Volcano may have calmed down for the past few weeks, but its recent activity did damage several roads and infrastructures. Recently, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that estimated damage costs to national roads and bridges are now at PhP 153.2 million as of 8:00 AM, January 31.
According to a report by the DPWH Batangas First District Engineering Office, the Calbangan Bridge along Palico-Balayan-Batangas Road in Brgy Mataas na Bayan, Lemery, and the Laguile Bridge along Lemery-Taal Diversion Road in Brgy. Laguile, Taal sustained an estimated PhP 4.77 million damage each.
In addition, the gov't agency also announced five other roads were badly damaged by the recent eruption. These include: Palico-Balayan Batangas Road (PhP 27 million), Lemery Taal Diversion Road (PhP 35.16 million), Diokno Highway (PhP 41.62 million), Tanauan-Tailisay-Tagaytay (PhP 4 million), and Talisay-Laurel-Agoncillo Road (PhP 34 million). Aside from those roads, the Sinisian Bridge along Palico-Balayan-Batangas Road also suffered PhP 2 million worth of damages.
Despite suffering from fissures and cracks, some of the previously mentioned roads are still passable to motorists. Only the Talisay-Laurel-Agoncillo Road remains inaccessible due to heavily damaged pavement and lockdown imposed by the local government units.
Despite the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reducing the Alert Level status of Taal Volcano to Level 3, the gov't agency said that there is still magma 5 km below the crater. This means that the volcano island itself remains unsafe to the public. In addition, volcanic earthquakes are still happening around Taal Volcano, signifying that there is still activity underneath the volcano.