Taal Volcano is acting up anew with more tremors recorded on Wednesday, according to the latest volcano bulletin of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday morning.
Phivolcs said it recorded over a 24-hour period on Wednesday 69 tremors inside the volcano island each with a duration of 1 to 61 minutes. However, despite this increase in volcanic activity, only weak steam-laden plumes were emitted by fumarolic activity at the vents of the main crater.
On Tuesday, Monday and Sunday, Phivolcs recorded one to six volcanic tremors from Taal.
Longer volcanic tremors may be an indication of an impending eruption, according to a webpage of the Michigan Tech Volcano page (Volcanic Earthquakes). It states “
The second category of volcanic earthquakes are long period earthquakes which are produced by the injection of magma into surrounding rock. These earthquakes are a result of pressure changes during the unsteady transport of the magma. When magma injection is sustained a lot of earthquakes are produced (Chouet, 1993). This type of activity indicates that a volcano is about to erupt.“
With Phivolcs recording more volcanic quakes from Taal on Wednesday, it has maintained Alert Level 1 (Abnormal) over the volcano area, which may have limited number of people now as authorities undertook preemptive evacuation from the volcano island two weeks ago.
“DOST (Department of Science and Technology)-Phivolcs reminds the public that at Alert Level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island (TVI),” Phivolcs said.
“DOST-Phivolcs strongly recommends that entry into TVI, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited. Local government units are advised to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest,” it added.
Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders.
BY KHALID MANGONDATO