“During these terrible convulsions of the earth fissures opened in the ground amid horrifying roars, said fissures extending from the northern and northeastern beach of the lake as far as the neighborhood of the town of Calamba. Here as well as elsewhere, the whole shore of Lake Bombon has been disturbed. The entire territory of Sala and part of that of Tanauan have been rendered practically uninhabitable the water courses have been altered, former springs have ceased to flow and new ones made their appearance, the whole country is traversed by fissures, and extensive subsidence5 has occurred in many places.
“During my flight I saw a great many tall trees, such as coconut and betel-nut palms, either miserably fallen, or so deeply buried that their tops were within reach of my hands. I likewise saw several houses which formerly, in accordance with Philippine custom, had their floors raised several yards above ground, but had sunk to such a degree that the same ladder which once served to ascend into them, was now used to descend to them. The most remarkable thing about this is that the natives tranquilly continue occupying them, though they find themselves buried alive.”
2 Most of the information contained in this article is taken from “The Eruption of Taal Volcano January 30, 1911,” by Rev. Miguel Saderra Maso, S. J., published 1911 in Manila.
3 Merriam-Webster online.
4 A seiche is the oscillation of lake waters that can be triggered by seismic activity. Wikipedia.
5 Subsidence is the motion of the earth’s surface moving or shifting downwards or closer to sea level. Wikipedia.