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A week after phreatic eruption, alert Level 4 remains raised over Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano’s crater is pictured from a helicopter in Batangas, Philippines, January 17, 2020. Office of Civil Defense/Handout via REUTERS

A week after the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas, the Philippine Institute of Volcano and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has yet to remove the alert level 4 status of the volcano.

Maria Antonia Bornas, chief of the PHIVOLCS Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, said on Sunday, Jan. 19, that they recorded 787 volcanic earthquakes, including 15 low-frequency events.

Bornas explained that the earthquakes were caused by the movement of magma underneath Taal Volcano.

She also mentioned that the sulfur dioxide produced by Taal Volcano has gone up to 1,442 tons per day since Saturday, Jan. 18.

Ibig nitong sabihin meron sulfur dioxide na patuloy na binubuga ng magma sa ilalim at ito’y sumasanib sa tubig o sa steam at nilalabas siya,” Bornas explained during an interview with DZRH.

Nung nakalipas na dalawang araw ay mahina kasi ang buga ng steam. Humihina. Ngunit kahapon ay mas malakas na siya ng kaunti at nagkaroon pa ng explosions,” she added.

Bornas stressed that the downtrend in the number of earthquake, amount of volcanic gasses, and reported fissures does not mean that the threat of a major eruption will occur in Taal Volcano.

Nandiyan pa rin ang mga senyales na may pumasok na magma sa ilalim ng bulkan at maaring sumsirit pa ito paakyat ng taal main crater,” the PHIVOLCS official said.

Despite na pagbaba yung trends, meron tayong nakikita sa ilalim ng bulkan, nasusukat na kailangan talagang masususi nating tignan kung ano ang sinasaad nito,” she said.

Bornas warned that the volcanic activities around Taal Volcano might suddenly escalate following its recent restive nature.


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