Phivolcs to assess Taal Volcano’s trend before reducing alert status

/ 07:43 PM January 16, 2020
Phivolcs to assess Taal Volcano’s trend before reducing alert status

A man walks with his belongings through clouds of ash kicked up on a road as authorities enforced total evacuation of residents living near Taal volcano in Agoncillo town, Batangas province, southern Philippines on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Taal volcano belched smaller plumes of ash Thursday but shuddered continuously with earthquakes and cracked roads in nearby towns, which were blockaded by police due to fears of a bigger eruption. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Thursday that Taal Volcano’s activity must exhibit a waning trend before they consider lowering its risk status.

“Ang importante kasi if you want to stand down sa alert level, may definite trend ka na pahupa na ‘yung volcano,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum Jr. said.


(The important thing before standing down on the alert level is there should be a definite trend that the volcano is waning.)

He also said that as a standard operating procedure for all volcanoes, they implement a two-week period of observation before they lower its alert status.


“Pero s’yempre, nag-a-adjust din naman kami kung talagang sigurado na, na talagang wala na, na pababa na ang trend ng volcano,” said Solidum.

(But, of course, we also adjust once we make sure that the trend of the volcano’s activity is weakening.)

“Pag-uusapan namin kasi babalikan namin ‘yung mga trend,” he added.

(We’ll discuss it while we analyze the trend.)

Monitoring stations revived

Phivolcs’ Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief Ma. Antonia Bornas said their Taal Volcano Network, or the monitoring stations on the Volcano Island, have been restored.

With this, they have started to receive additional data on volcanic quakes that will give them an idea of whether Taal Volcano’s energy is diminishing.

“Wala tayong nakuhang transmission from our Taal Volcano Network for many days,” noted Bornas. “Kare-revive niya lang so iba-back process pa ‘yung mga ‘yun.”


(We didn’t receive any transmission from our Taal Volcano Network for many days. They have just been revived so we still need to back-process them.)

Phivolcs also said earlier that they will seek assistance from partner international space organizations for additional satellite data on the current behavior of Taal Volcano.

Alert Level 4 stays

Meanwhile, Bornas pointed out that as of Thursday evening, Taal continues to exhibit signs of a possible explosive eruption, hence, Alert Level 4 stays.

The continuous volcanic quakes, emission of a high amount of sulfur dioxide, and the bulging of the Taal region are manifestations of a high volume of magma beneath the volcano’s edifice.

In their 5 p. m. bulletin, Phivolcs observed nine weak emissions of plumes reaching 800 meters high since Thursday morning. They also recorded 30 volcanic quakes from Thursday morning to afternoon.

In addition, government volcanologists also noted a further receding of water in Taal’s Main Crater Lake, which, according to Solidum, could be because it is seeping beneath the volcano and is being vaporized as steam.

On Wednesday, Phivolcs reported a “generally weaker” activity on Taal’s main crater, an observation that continued until Thursday.

Edited by KGA


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TAGS: disaster, DOST, Local news, Ma. Antonia Bornas, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news updates, Phivolcs, Renato Solidum Jr., Taal, Taal eruption, Taal Volcano
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