Phivolcs may raise Taal Volcano’s alert status to Level 2
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it may raise Taal Volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 2 should it continue with its heightened seismic activities.
Phivolcs said Alert Level 2 is declared when there is probable magmatic intrusion which could eventually lead to an eruption.
Phivolcs on Sunday said Taal Volcano has so far manifested 4,857 volcanic earthquakes since it was placed on Alert Level 1 in March 2019.
Some of the earthquakes from Intensity I (Scarcely Perceptible) to Intensity III (Weak Shaking) were felt in the following areas in Batangas: Brgy. Banyaga, Agoncillo; Brgy. Calauit, Balete; Sitio Tibag, Brgy. Pira-Piraso, Sitio Tuuran, Brgy. Tabla, and Brgy. Buco, Talisay; and Brgy. Alas-as and Brgy. Pulangbato, San Nicolas, Batangas.
Phivolcs said the earthquakes were accompanied by “rumbling sounds.”
“In the event of further increase in number of volcanic earthquakes, higher concentration of gases, continuous inflation of the volcano’s edifice, increase in water temperature and/or occurrence of widespread bubbling at the lake of the Main Crater, Taal Volcano’s status will be raised to Alert Level 2,” Phivolcs said.
From November 21 to 29, Phivolcs said precise leveling (PL) measurements on Taal Volcano showed further inflation of the volcano edifice, consistent with the recent results from continuous global positioning system (GPS) data.
An increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission was also detected in April 2019. However, Phivolcs said no significant changes in the water temperature and acidity of the main crater lake.
Phivolcs has reminded the public that the main crater remains strictly off-limits as sudden steam explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic volcanic gases can be released.
The northern portion of the main crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, can also become hazardous when steam emission along existing fissures suddenly increases.
Phivolcs also noted that the entire volcano island is a permanent danger zone and permanent settlement is strictly prohibited.
Edited by MUF
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