New steaming fissure found on Taal’s northern slopes; fissures recently formed in Batangas bgys, widening


Taal volcano as of Jan. 16. /PHIVOLCS/


(Eagle News) – A fissure that was newly observed on the northern slopes of Taal Volcano island was found to be steaming, while the fissures found in several barangays in Batangas were said to have “widened by a few centimeters.”

This was according to the newly released information of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) which had also observed the shoreline around the whole of Taal Lake to be receding.

These events showed that Taal Volcano is still in danger of imminent hazardous eruption within hours or days, and is still Alert Level 4, said PHIVOLCS latest bulletin issued at 8 a.m. today, Friday, Jan. 17.

It said activity in Taal’s “Main Crater in the past 24 hours has been characterized by steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions that generated dark gray ash plumes 100 to 800 meters tall.” This ash dispersed southwest to west of the Main Crater, it said.

But what was also important was that “existing fissures identified in barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas Province have been observed to widen by a few centimeters.”

Some of the recent fissures or cracks on the ground in Batangas documented by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) as Taal Volcano continued to have intense volcanic activities. (Photo courtesy Phivolcs)

“A steaming fissure has been newly observed on the northern slopes of Taal Volcano Island. Receding of the shoreline has been observed around the whole of Taal Lake,” PHIVOLCS said.

The Philippine Seismic Network has so far plotted 634 volcanic earthquakes since 1 p.m of January 12, with 174 of these registered at magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1. They were also elt at Intensities I to V.

From 5 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 to 5 a.m. today, Friday, Jan. 17, PHVOLCS has also recorded 65 volcanic earthquakes.

Two of these registered at magnitudes 1.3 to 3.1 and were both felt at Intensity I.

The Taal Volcano Network also recorded 944 volcanic earthquakes including 29 low-frequency earthquakes.

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

Because of this, Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Taal Volcano.

“This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. 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 PHIVOLCS bulletin said.

“Residents around Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft,” it added.