Taal Volcano continues to emit steam, ash from weak explosions
MANILA, Philippines — The Taal Volcano continues to belch steam and ash plumes from “infrequent weak explosions” in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Monday.
“Activity in the Main Crater in the past 24 hours has been characterized by steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions that generated ash plumes 500 to 1000 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest of the Main Crater,” Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.
It added that sulfur dioxide emission was measured at an average of 4353 tons per day.
In a press conference on Monday, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said that steam emitted by Taal Volcano was “stronger.”
“Habang seemingly parang e walang nangyayari pero actually lumakas po yung steaming ngayon,” he said.
(While seemingly nothing is happening, the steaming is actually getting stronger.)
The agency also monitored a total of 23 volcanic earthquakes from 5 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 19) until 6 a.m. Monday (Jan. 20), measuring from 1.2-magnitude to 3.8-magnitude.
One temblor was felt at Intensity I, Phivolcs added.
This brings the total of monitored earthquakes since Taal Volcano’s ash explosion last January 12 at 714.
Phivolcs also said it has recorded 673 small volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours, including 12 low-frequency temblors, which signifies “continuous magmatic intrusion.”
“Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” it said.
Thus, Alert Level 4 remains placed over Taal Volcano, meaning a hazardous explosive eruption is still possible within hours to days, Phivolcs said.
“DOST-Phivolcs strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km radius from Taal Main Crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed,” the agency said.
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