Residents walk past wooden boats as Taal volcano erupts, in Tanauan town, Batangas province south of Manila on January 13, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
212 volcanic earthquakes recorded during Taal Volcano unrest
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - January 14, 2020 - 10:35am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 200 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in Taal region since the volcano burst to life Sunday, which may lead to further eruptive activity, state volcanologists said.

A total of 212 volcanic earthquakes have been observed as of early Tuesday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in an 8 a.m. bulletin.

Eighty-one of these tremors were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I (scarcely perceptible) to V (strong) in Tagaytay, Cavite.

“Such seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” Phivolcs said.

Taal Volcano remained active, spurting 500-meter tall lava fountains that generated two-kilometer steam-laden plunes. 

“For the past 24 hours, Taal Volcano’s activity has been characterized by continuous eruption of the main crater due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in an 8 a.m. bulletin.

The broad columns of ash were illuminated by volcanic lightning.

New cracks also opened in the volcano’s northern flank, where short 500-meter lava were ejected.

Heavy ashfall blanketed Batangas towns of Lemery, Talisay, Taal and Cuenca.

Phivolcs added sulfur dioxide was measured at an average of 5,299 tons per day on Monday. Sulfur dioxide is a gas with a pungent odor that irritates skin and tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat.

The provincial government of Batangas declared a state of calamity in the province Monday.

A total of 6,981 families or 30,423 individuals residing in Batangas and Cavite have been affected by Taal’s unrest as of Tuesday morning. Of the figure, 4,175 families are seeking evacuation.

Alert Level 4 remains over Taal Volcano, which means a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”

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