Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano status to Alert Level 1
MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists on Thursday have lowered the status of Taal Volcano to Alert Level 1, to mean that while it is still in “abnormal condition,” activity in the volcano is of a “decreasing trend.”
To recall, Taal Volcano erupted last Jan. 12, spewing steam, ash and small rocks. Hours later, it had a magmatic eruption. This prompted state volcanologists to hoist the alert status of the volcano to Alert Level 4, to mean that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) downgraded the volcano’s alert status “to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters.”
It noted that Taal Volcano’s condition has been characterized by “low-level earthquake activity as there is a decline in the daily average of volcanic earthquakes, low concentrations of sulfur dioxide, and weak emission of steam-laden plumes.
“In view of the above, DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.
“Alert Level 1 means that the volcano is still in an abnormal condition and should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared,” it added.
At Alert Level 1, Phivolcs explained that sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur.
Entry into the Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone must remain strictly prohibited, the agency recommended.
Phivolcs could still raise the alert status of the volcano to Alert Level 2 should it observe an uptrend or a change in monitoring parameters signaling a renewed unrest, it added.
The agency warned residents in high-risk areas to remain vigilant and always be prepared for a quick and organized evacuation.
On Jan. 26, Phivolcs lowered the volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 3. It was on February 14 where state volcanologists downgraded the status to Alert Level 2.
Edited by MUF
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