Taal Volcano has been lowered to Alert Level 2 on Friday by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
“After step-down to Alert Level 3 last 26 January 2020, Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding three weeks has been characterized by less frequent volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Taal Volcano Island edifices and weak steam or gas emissions at the Main Crater,” PHIVOLCS said in its bulletin.
On January 12, the volcano generated an eruption plume 1-kilometer-high which is accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes in the Taal Volcano Island and in the barangays of Agoncillo, Batangas.
Two weeks later, the volcano’s status has been downgraded from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3, allowing displaced residents outside the seven-kilometer danger zone to return to their respective homes.
PHIVOLCS said that despite the downgrade in its Alert Level status, the area of Taal Volcano Island still remains off-limits and is considered to be a permanent danger zone.
Last month, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared Taal Volcano Island as ‘no man’s island’ following the recommendation of government officials and the fear of its possible explosive eruption.
“Local government units are advised to additionally assess previously evacuated areas within the seven-kilometer radius for damage and road accessibility and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest,” the state volcanologists said.