Danger remains as volcanic activities increase in Taal

Marje Pelayo   •   January 20, 2020   •   670

Aerial photos Taal Volcano eruption aftermath epa08135676 Handout aerial photo provided by the Office of Civil Defense shows the Taal Volcano crater in Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines, 17 January 2020. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has kept the alert level at four, following the volcano’s eruption on 12 January 2020. EPA-EFE/OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

MANILA, Philippines – Over a week since Taal Volcano began its eruptive activity, danger still remains according to experts.

In fact, a total of 787 earthquakes have been recorded in the volcano island on Saturday (January 18) alone, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

This frequency of ground shaking is double the number of all volcanic earthquakes recorded in the previous six days of Taal’s volcanic activity.

Over the weekend, more than 200 tremors were recorded within the range of magnitude 1.2 and 4.1, the PHIVOLCS said and on Sunday evening (January 19), the strongest shaking – magnitude 4.2 earthquake – was felt in Mabini, Batangas.

The volcano institute have also observed that Taal is producing about one-kilometer high white ash pillar and sulfur dioxide of around 1,442 tons each day.

Because of these observations, PHIVOLCS cannot just lift or downgrade Alert Level 4 that is currently in effect around the volcano island because the possibility of a massive explosive eruption remains high within hours or days.

Thus, PHIVOLCS strongly appeals for understanding and more patience from residents and reminds them not to return yet to their villages especially those within the 14-km danger zone.

Volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal:

  • January 19 – 787
  • January 18 – 366
  • January 17 – 65
  • January 16 – 103
  • January 15 – 159
  • January 14 – 49
  • January 13 – 52

Source: PHIVOLCS

Lahar flows inundate houses in Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2020

Residents of Barangay Buso-Buso, Laurel, and Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo, Batangas were seen sweeping mud from their houses after lahar brought by heavy rainfall flowed into their homes on Sunday (June 7).

Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman of Barangay Buso-Buso Cyrus Mendoza reported that no one was hurt during the incident and residents have already begun a bayanihan to clean their barangay.

“Habang bumubuhos po ang malakas na ulan ay nakita po namin ang lahar flow na nanggaling sa mga kabundukan sa amin. Pinuntahan po namin ang mga bahay na pinasukan po lahar na ito (While the rain was pouring heavily, we saw the lahar flow from our mountains. We have already visited the houses affected by the lahar flow),” he said.

Both barangays Banyaga and Buso-Buso are in the 7-kilometer danger zone of Taal Volcano.

The lahar came from the ashes brought by the Taal eruption in January. –AAC (with reports from Aris Silvestre)

Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert to level 1

UNTV News   •   March 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said it has downgraded the alert on Taal Volcano to level 1 following the decrease in volcanic quakes and surface activity at the main crater.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding four weeks after its alert was lowered to level 2, has been characterized by low-level volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and the Taal Volcano Island edifices, and weak surface activity at the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” its bulletin reads.

State volcanologists said that alert level 1 means that the volcano is still in “abnormal condition,” and that this “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.”

Under alert level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.

The alert level may be raised back to alert level 2 “should pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn of renewed unrest,” Phivolcs said.

The agency reminded residents that entry to Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, remains strictly prohibited. 

The Taal Volcano was placed under alert level 4 when it spewed ash on January 12 which sent thousands of residents to temporary shelters and disrupted businesses in surrounding areas.

It was later lowered to alert level 2 several weeks later due to decreased unrest. — ROBIE DE GUZMAN

9 dead in Turkey after earthquake hits Iran border area

UNTV News   •   February 24, 2020

BASKALE, TURKEY (FEBRUARY 23, 2020)DAMAGED HOMES

Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.

Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.

The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.

The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.

Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect

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