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Don’t eat fish from Taal Lake, public told

Authorities have pushed for a temporary ban on fishing in the lake around Taal Volcano and on consuming possibly contaminated fish following the restive volcano’s ash explosion.

According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum, fishing activity should be prohibited, especially given the evacuation implemented within the 14-kilometer danger zone around the restive volcano.

“Pag sinabi natin within 14 kilometers, kasama na Taal Lake, dapat walang tao,” Solidum said in the “Laging Handa” press briefing at the Palace.

“Pag sumabog ‘yun ng malakas, gagapang ‘yung above lake water. ‘Pag nandun ka sa lake, delikado,” he said, adding that the Alert Level 4 status over Taal remains.

The public is also strongly discouraged from eating fish from Taal Lake to avoid food poisoning and other health problems, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana said.

Laxamana, in the same press briefing, said people who eat contaminated fish might experience symptoms such stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Pinagbawal na. Definitely may advisory na lahat nanggagaling diyan sa area ng Taal, Batangas dapat wala na bibili kasi hindi natin maaasahan ‘yung safety ang ating mamamayan,” she said.

“Parang food poisoning ‘yan, walang tigil ang pagtatae at pagsusuka. Ang number one natin gawin ay rehydrate ang pasyente.”

In a later media interview, Laxamana said fish from Taal Lake may not be safe for human consumption following the volcano’s release of toxic materials.

“We advise people not to eat fish from the lake kasi lumabas na ‘yung mga toxic materials from the volcano,” she said.

“If you have diarrhea, you can go into dehydration. Akala nila ordinary stomach pains, pagtatae; pag walang consultation na ginawa, akala nila ordinary lang ‘yun.”

She said the resumption of consumption of fish from Taal Lake will depend on advice from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Agriculture (DA). (Genalyn Kabiling)