Intense earthquakes in Taal indicate possible ‘explosive eruption’ — PHIVOLCS

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2020   •   1284

Cracks due to frequent earthquakes can be seen on the roads, houses and some establishments in Batangas.

BATANGAS, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported intense seismic activity in Taal volcano in the past 24 hours.

As of Tuesday (January 14), the agency recorded a total of 212 volcanic earthquakes in the region of Taal, of which, 81 were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V in the areas of Tagaytay City, Cavite.

“Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” PHIVOLCS said in its report.

Based on PHIVOLCS’ 24-hour monitoring, Taal Volcano’s main crater has been continuously erupting due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity which generated 500-meter tall lava fountains and about two kilometers tall dark gray steam.

Since the last update, the agency said, heavy ash fall has reportedly fallen on the municipalities of Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas.

Sulfur dioxide emissions blanketed the air which were measured at an average of 5,299 tons per day on Monday (January 13).

PHIVOLCS maintains Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano which means a possibility of a hazardous explosive eruption is high within hours to days.

Thus, the agency strongly reiterates total evacuation of the entire Taal Volcano Island as well as nearby areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal’s main crater.

Communities north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ash fall.

PHIVOLCS remains in close monitoring of the activities of Taal Volcano and assures the public of up to date information.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum advised the public to be aware of the developments in Taal’s activities as major explosive eruption remains a possibility.

“We need the cooperation of everyone. The scenario of hazardous eruption is a real scenario that has been exhibited by Taal volcano. If we look at those scenarios, the impact is quite significant. Therefore, people need to be reminded that going inside the recommended evacuation zone is a risky business and in reality we need to focus on moving people away from identified areas,” he said.

“The mere fact that we are recording a lot of earthquakes and the fissures are now observed, meaning the entire area of Taal is being pushed by the magma intrusion, that would now be a possible source, if this would reached the surface, for a possible eruption and hopefully it’s not explosive but based on past events, it becomes explosive,” he concluded.

383 volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday maintained Alert level 2 over Taal Volcano as it recorded 383 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

Based on the latest bulletin, upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake occurred Tuesday morning (April 13) and 383 volcanic earthquakes, including 238 episodes of volcanic tremor lasting from one to 12 minutes occurred in the past 24 hours.

Phivolcs also said it continues to observe “a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption.”

The agency reminds local government units around the area to be vigilant and continuously assess the situation. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders,” the bulletin said. AAC

PHIVOLCS: 270 quakes recorded at Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 270 quakes, including 193 episodes of volcanic tremor having durations of up to 12 minutes, were recorded in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said Friday.

In its latest bulletin, PHIVOLCS said it also monitored 77 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, which is higher than the 25 recorded on the previous day.

The agency said it also observed weak emission of steam-laden plumes from fumarolic vents that rose up to 10 meters. Sulfur dioxide emission that averaged 925 tons per day was measured on Thursday.

“Ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR data analysis indicated a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region since after the January 2020 eruption,” PHIVOLCS said.

“These parameters may indicate increased magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice,” it added.

Despite increased seismic activities, PHIVOLCS said that Taal Volcano remains under alert level 2 which means “increased unrest.”

The agency noted that the unrest has been “elevating” and that it is under constant evaluation.

PHIVOLCS reminds the public that under alert level 2, “sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island.”

Entry into the island and its permanent danger zone, especially in the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must be strictly prohibited, the agency stressed.

Civil aviation authorities are also advised to inform pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.

Phivolcs maintains Alert Level 2 in Taal as possibility of magmatic eruption increases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday (March 24) warned about an increasing possibility of a magmatic eruption in Taal Volcano following an elevated increase in seismic activity.

In an advisory, Phivolcs said that since the Taal Volcano unrest in February, the overall volcanic activity has increased. The agency has recorded 259 volcanic earthquakes in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours.

In the previous week, sulfur oxide gas emission also reached a high peak compared to the previous month. 

There has also been an indication of magma migrating across shallow depths of the Taal Volcano island which increased the possibilities of a magmatic eruption, according to Phivolcs.

“Alert Level 2 (increased unrest) is currently maintained over Taal Volcano but that unrest has been elevating and is under constant evaluation,” according to Phivolcs.

The agency maintains an Alert Level 2 in Taal. It also reminds local government units to continuously assess and strengthen their preparation. Entry is prohibited on the Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinity of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure. -AAC

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