Alert level 4 still hoisted over Taal volcano as it continues to generate lava fountains, steam-laden plumes

(Eagle News)–An alert level 4 remains hoisted over Taal as it continues to generate lava fountains and steam-laden plumes.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the 500-meter lava fountains and dark gray plumes  approximately 2 kilometers tall were due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity for the past 24 hours.

Flashes of volcanic lightning were also observed at the base of the degassing plumes this morning.

According to PHIVOLCS, new  vents opened up on the northern flank where there were short 500-meter lava fountains  and within the main crater where steam plumes have emanated.

Heavy ashfall from Taal’s continuous activity has fallen on the municipalities of Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas, with the  Philippine Seismic Network recording 212 volcanic earthquakes in Taal region as of 2 a.m. today.

PHIVOLCS said 81 of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I – V in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

It said this intense seismic activity could mean further eruptive activity in the future.

Sulfur dioxide emission was also measured at an average of 5299 tons per day on Jan. 13.

PHIVOLCS  reiterated the need for a total evacuation from Taal Volcano island and the areas within a 14-kilometer radius from the Taal main crater, which are at prone to a volcanic tsunami.

Areas in the general north of Taal volcano are also advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.