Hazardous eruption imminent on Taal volcano – Phivolcs

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Monday that magma continues to deform the Taal Volcano island, its movement resulting in an “uplift” of the volcano, and could be an indication of a possible explosive eruption.

In their updates Sunday, Phivolcs issued an Eruption Update on Taal Volcano, with an Alert Level 4, “Hazardous Eruption Imminent”  on 6 pm Sunday evening.

“Definitely may papaakyat na magma. May nagsusupply pa doon (Definitely there is rising magma. There’s magma being supplied),” Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said on Monday.

Since 8:00 a.m., Sunday, Taal Volcano’s activity has been generally characterized by weak emission of steam-laden plumes 300 to 500 meters high from the Main Crater that drifted to the general southwest.

The Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) plotted a total of 701 volcanic earthquakes since 1:00 PM, January 12, 2020.

A total of 176 of these were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V.

Since 5 am to 4 pm Sunday, there were 10 volcanic earthquakes plotted, including one (1) felt event with intensity I.

From 5 am to 4 pm Sunday, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded 244 volcanic earthquakes including three low-frequency earthquakes.

Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity. Latest sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 4353 tonnes/day Sunday at 5:00 pm.

Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Taal Volcano.

This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterated 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.

Based on PAGASA wind forecast, if the eruption plume remains below 5 km, ash will be drifted to south and southwest of the Main Crater.

However, 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.

Residents around the volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft.

DOST-PHIVOLCS said they are  continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments. (STACY  ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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