Alert Level 5 possibly to be declared due to Taal Volcano eruption

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Experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) is not discounting the possibility of the alert level due to the Taal volcanic eruption to be raised in its highest level due to the possibility of a massive hazardous eruption within days.

Ma Antonia Bornas, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology volcano monitoring division, says that increased lava and magmatic activities within the island has created another sprout which already ignited several lava fountain-like explosions. A satellite photo taken of Taal Volcano shows massive plumes of thick smoke emanating from the volcano’s mouth.

Alert level 5 means massive volcanic eruption happening within the declared danger zone and even beyond it. PHILVOCS describes alert level 5 as:

“Magmatic eruption characterized by explosive production of tall ash-laden eruption columns, or by massive collapses of summit lava dome. Generation of deadly pyroclastic flows, surges and/or lateral blasts and widespread ashfall.

“Life-threatening eruption producing volcanic hazards that endanger communities. Additional danger areas may be declared as eruption progresses.” see link.

PHILVOCS will meet with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) and other government officials to brief them of the possible consequences raising the alert level will have in areas within and nearby Taal island.

Bornas also did not erase the possibility of expanding the current 14 kilometer danger zone as observations point to the volcano’s erratic behavior. While experts have in their possession several historical records on Taal’s volcano, what experts do not know are explosions which occurred prior to Spanish times.

Experts say the explosion could last for six to seven months or like the 1911 eruption, only for a few days. A 17th century eruption of Taal led to the relocation of original residents of Taal to its current position.

A high-level stratospheric eruption has just been recorded at Taal Volcano, the Philippines today, January 12, 2019 — the first eruption of any sort since 1977 (solar minimum of weak solar cycle 20).

A thick column of volcanic ash has been fired to an altitude of 55,000 ft (16.8 km) above sea level, according to data released by the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Particulates ejected to altitudes above 32,800 feet (10 km) –and into the stratosphere– often linger, where they have a direct cooling effect on the planet.

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