Alert Level 3 still up in Taal Volcano; 48 quakes recorded in 24 hours

MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — Taal Volcano remains in Alert Level 3 as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recorded 48 volcanic quakes in the last 24 hours.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin Saturday, Phivolcs said two volcano-tectonic earthquakes, 40 low frequency volcanic earthquakes, six volcanic tremor events with durations of up to four minutes, and low-level background tremor which began on April 8 were recorded.

High-level activities of Taal Volcano, including three short phreatomagmatic eruptions since Friday morning were monitored.

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“High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that rose as much as three thousand (3,000) meters high that drifted southwest and north-northwest were generated from the Taal Main Crater,” Phivolcs said.

“Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission averaged 10,254 tonnes/day on 02 July 2021,” it added.

State volcanologists also observed vog over Taal Volcano and its vicinity. 

Ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR data analysis also indicated that the Taal Volcano Island “has begun deflating in April 2021 while the Taal region continues to undergo very slow extension since 2020.”

Under Alert Level 3, Phivolcs reminds the general public that magma extruding from the main crater could drive an explosive eruption.

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Volcanologists recommend that the Taal Volcano Island—a permanent danger zone—including high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, remain off limits due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and a volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur. 

All activities in Taal Lake such as fishing are prohibited.

Communities surrounding the volcano are also reminded to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify. 

Phivolcs advised pilots to avoid flying near the Taal Volcano volcano as it warns of  airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and pyroclastic density currents such as base surges.

Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 2 since March this year when it showed “increasing unrest” following an eruption in January 2020.

Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in a nation hit periodically by eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” — a zone of intense seismic activity.

Albert Rovic Tan

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