Alert Level 4 still hoisted over Taal as intense seismic activity continues

(Eagle News)–An alert level 4 remains hoisted over Taal, as the Taal Volcano Network recorded over  700 volcanic earthquakes in the volcano for the past 24 hours.

In its 8 a.m. advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the 787 volcanic earthquakes included 15 low-frequency earthquakes.

According to PHIVOLCS, the Philippine Seismic Network, on the other hand, recorded  691 volcanic earthquakes since 1:00 PM, January 12.

Over 100, or 175 of these, registered at magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 and were felt at Intensities I to V.

“Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” PHIVOLCS said.

Since 5 a.m. on January 18 until 5 a.m. today, there were 25 volcanic earthquakes plotted, registered at magnitudes 1.3 to 2.7 with one felt event at intensity I.

PHIVOLCS said activity in the main crater in the past 24 hours has been characterized by steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions that generated white to dirty white ash plumes 500 to 1000 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest.

PHIVOLCS said sulfur dioxide emission was measured at an average of 1442 tons/day.

PHIVOLCS reiterated a total evacuation from Taal Volcano Island, high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from Taal and from along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed.

Based on the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s wind forecast, if the eruption plume remains below five km, ash will be drifted to south and southwest of the main crater.

If a major eruption occurs during the day and eruption column exceeds 5 km, ash will also be drifted to the eastern and northeastern sectors and may fall on portions of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

PHIVOLCS said residents around the volcano should guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.

Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano.