BREAKING: Taal volcano spews ash in phreatic eruption
MANILA, Philippines (Updated) — Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the Taal Volcano is spewing ash in a phreatic eruption on Sunday afternoon due to hydro-thermal activities.
Phivolcs Undersecretary Renato Solidum confirmed to INQUIRER.net in a phone interview that Taal is experiencing a phreatic eruption, which generated a plume of ash around 100 meters high.
A phreatic eruption is basically driven by the steam that triggers a steam emission to reach the surface, said Phivolcs science research specialist Allan Loza.
He said the eruption occurred around 1 pm.
Loud “booming sounds” were heard from the volcano island, about seven kilometers away from the mainland town of Talisay.
Hours prior to the eruption, the Phivolcs recorded a series of earthquakes, the strongest at intensity 2 at 8 am and 11 am.
Ongoing phreatic explosion at the Main Crater of Taal Volcano. Photos taken from installed IP camera monitoring the activity of Taal Volcano. pic.twitter.com/9Qyd7aLvsJ
— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) January 12, 2020
Phivolcs raised Taal Volcano’s alert status from level 1 to level 2 amid the “increasing unrest.”
Solidum added that a precautionary evacuation will be ordered in the Taal Volcano island pending observation of its condition within the next 48 hours.
Taal is an active volcano that straddles in the provinces of Cavite and Batangas provinces.
About 6,000 residents on the island, surrounded by the Taal Lake, were ordered evacuated on boats to the main island of Batangas since the ground movements started this morning.
“Residents on the main land are advised to prepare (for any eventuality),” Loza said in a phone interview.
Loza said there was no advisory yet for Phivolcs to evacuate its observatory station in Barangay Buco, Talisay as they would need to monitor the volcano’s activities in the next hours if it would lead to a magmatic eruption.
“Based on history, phreatic eruptions happened before major eruptions, but there were also instances when they did not. That’s why we’ll have to keep on monitoring,” he said.
Taal volcano was placed on Alert 1 level since March 2019.
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