PHIVOLCS seeks help from int’l scientists, borrows infrared camera from US to view Taal’s main crater

(Eagle News) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is talking with the United States Geological Service (USGS) regarding the ongoing volcanic activity of Taal Volcano, seeking their help to better get accurate data and images on the restive volcano’s crater.

The US embassy is also securing an infrared camera to be used by PHIVOLCS to take pictures of Taal’s main crater.

Ma. Antonia Bornas, chief of the Volcano Monitoring Division of PHIVOLCS, said they are consulting the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP).

Para lang magkaroon tayo ng exchange of ideas, kung meron po silang suggestions na puedeng makuha para sa mas mabuting pang pag-momonitor ng bulkan. (So we can have an exchange of ideas, if they have suggestions that we can use to better monitor the volcano)“ she said.

So far, both PHIVOLCS and the USGS scientists have the same ideas about the ongoing eruption of Taal volcano.

“Halos pareho naman kami ng assessment. Yun pong naiisip po namin na additional na monitoring, sinuggest rin po nila (We almost have the same assessment. Our idea about the additional monitoring, they also suggested that),” Bornas explained.

PHIVOLCS is now borrowing a high-end infrared camera that can monitor Taal volcano’s activities, particularly those happening within its crater.

Bornas said that this equipment is essential to see what is happening inside Taal’s crater.

The USGS is also asking PHIVOLCS on the other equipment that it needs.

But PHIVOLCS said that for now, this infrared camera is the equipment that they had requested.

PHIVOLCS is also discussing the possibility of lowering the Alert Level 4 in Taal Volcano, but Bornas said that it might still be too early as there are still signs of continuous magmatic intrusion in Taal.

This is although surface emissions of steam have been reduced or weakened for the past three days.

Kailangang maging maingat kami kasi katumbas niyan ay buhay e. (We should be very careful because lives are at stake,” Bornas said.

(with a video report by Eden Santos, Eagle News Service)