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Tagaytay's SkyRanch reopens, other tourist sites still being cleared of ash

Eric Tetteh

Jan. 18, 2020

Tagaytay City (CNN Philippines, January 18) — It's business as usual for an amusement park in Tagaytay as authorities clarified the city is not a "high-risk" area in case Taal Volcano erupts.
SkyRanch, home to one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the country and a panoramic view of Taal Volcano by the ridge, reopened to tourists Saturday afternoon.
The management assured that all the rides are safe, and that security protocols are in place in case of an emergency.
"We always remind everyone that the reason why we're opening is not for the business lang. It's really to help the tourism of Tagaytay, showing them na bumabangon kami (that we are recovering)," said Ryan Go, operations officer of SkyRanch Tagaytay.
Taal Volcano, itself a postcard-worthy tourist spot in Batangas province, started spewing ash last Sunday. SkyRanch, as well as other businesses in Tagaytay City and other areas in the Calabarzon region were forced to close after being covered in thick layers of volcanic ash.
Some tourist spots, including local government-run Picnic Grove and People's Park in the Sky have yet to clear their facilities and restore operations.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Friday told CNN Philippines that the Tagaytay Ridge, despite being inside Taal's 14-kilometer danger zone, is not considered a “high-risk” area due to its elevation.
“If we look at Tagaytay ridge, where most of the hotels are, they are within the 14-kilometer radius, but they are not part of areas identified as high-risk — what we call base surges of pyroclastic density current, because they're somewhat elevated,” Solidum told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
The Tagaytay City government on Friday also gave hotels and establishments the get back in business. Phivolcs, however, reminded residents and visitors to still practice caution—as other volcanic hazards like ashfall can affect the area.
Traffic in Tagaytay is beginning to slow down as of Saturday, indicating a possible return of the usual weekend visitors.
Meanwhile, Alert Level 4 remains in effect in Taal, indicating a potential hazardous eruption. Phivolcs said Taal had "infrequent weak explosions" and volcanic earthquakes in the last 24 hours. Thousands of residents within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano have been ordered to flee their homes and move to evacuation centers given the looming threat of a deadly explosion.
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