Taal still on alert level 4 as it continues to emit steam-laden plumes 300 to 500 meters high

(Eagle News)–Taal remains on alert level 4 as it continues to weakly emit steam-laden plumes 300 to 500 meters high since this morning.

In its recent advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the Philippine Seismic Network has also recorded 701 volcanic earthquakes since 1 p.m. of January 12.

Of these, 176 were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V.

Since 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, there were ten  volcanic earthquakes monitored, including one felt event with intensity I.

PHIVOLCS said from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded 244 volcanic earthquakes including three low-frequency earthquakes.

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

It said  sulfur dioxide  emission was measured at an average of 4353 tons per day today at 5 p.m.

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

According to PHIVOLCS, 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 reportedly also be drifted to the eastern and northeastern sectors and may fall on portions of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

PHIVOLCS advised residents around the volcano to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.

Civil aviation authorities should also advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal volcano.