Taal still on alert level 4 as it continues to emit steam, registers infrequent weak explosions

(Eagle News)-An alert level 4 remains hoisted over Taal volcano as it continued to emit steam and registered infrequent weak explosions that generated white to dirty white ash plumes 500 to 1000 meters tall.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said sulfur dioxide emission was  at an average of 4353 tons per day.

The Philippine Seismic Network also plotted a total of  714 volcanic earthquakes since January 12, 1 p.m.

Of these, 176 registered at magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 and were felt at Intensities I to V.

Since 5 a.m. on January 19 until 6 a.m. today, there were 23 volcanic earthquakes plotted, registered at magnitudes 1.2 to 3.8 with one felt event at intensity I.

For the past 24 hours, PHIVOLCS said the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded 673 volcanic earthquakes including 12 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.

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

PAGASA said based on wind  forecast, if the eruption plume remains below five km, ash will be drifted to south and southwest of the main crater.

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

Civil aviation authorities should advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal volcano too, PHIVOLCS said.