Weak steam emissions, only 2 ash explosions noted in Taal volcano, but alert level 4 still up – Phivolcs

People take photos and selfies at a viewpoint overlooking the Taal volcano, in Tagaytay on January 18, 2020. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)


(Eagle News) – “Weak emissions of steam-laden plumes have been observed since Saturday morning, as ’weak ash explosions” were seen in Taal Volcano, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Since 8 a.m. this morning, Taal Volcano’s activity has been generally characterized by these weak steam-laden plumes 500 to 800 meters high from the Main Crater that drifted to the general southwest, noted PHIVOLCS 5 p.m. bulletin.

It said that only “two discrete weak ash explosions were observed.”

Since 5 a.m. today until 12 noon, there were 13 volcanic earthquakes that have been plotted.

But those weaker quakes that were undetected by the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) were more numerous.

“From 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, the Taal Volcano Network, which includes small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded 366 volcanic earthquakes, three (3) tremor events, and eight low-frequency earthquakes,” the bulletin said.

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

Because of this, alert level 4 remains over Taal Volcano which means “hazardous explosive eruption” is still ”possible within hours to days.”

The latest sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 1442 tonnes/day Saturday at 5 p.m.

PHIVOLCS again stressed the need for “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.”

Residents around Taal Volcano are also advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.