Residents living along Taal lake catch fish as Taal volcano erupts in Tanauan town, Batangas province south of Manila on January 14, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Phivolcs: 'Generally weaker' activity observed in Taal but hazardous eruption still possible
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - January 15, 2020 - 10:11am

MANILA, Philippines — Taal Volcano displayed a “generally weaker” activity for the past 24 hours but it is not a sign that the restive volcano is no longer dangerous, state volcanologists said Wednesday.

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

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

Renato Solidum, Phivolcs director, said the slowing down of activities is normal in the eruption episodes of volcanoes.

“'Di naman masusustain ng volcano ‘yung napakalakas na pagsabog. Kailangan mo ng supply ng magma at kung mabagal ang pag-akyat ng magma, kaunti lang ang isasaboy niya. Kung mabilis ang pag-akyat ng magma, dun ka makakakita ng mas malakas na pagsabog,” Solidum explained in a press briefing Wednesday.

The restive volcano spewed lava fountains that generate 1,000-meter high ash clouds and dispersed ash southwest of the main crater.

Cracks

Phivolcs observed there were fissures or cracks in Brgys. Sinisian, Mahabang Dahilig, Dayapan, Palanas, Sangalang, Poblacion, Mataas na Bayan in Lemery; Brgy. Pansipit, Bilibinwang in Agoncillo; Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Poblacion 3, Poblacion 5 in Talisay; and Poblacion in San Nicolas.

A crack was also seen along the road connecting the towns of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas.

The intrusion of magma into the Taal edifice can produce fissure. If a establishment sits on top of a crack, it will be damaged, Phivolcs said.

A total of 466 volcanic earthquakes have been also recorded since Taal burst to life Sunday afternoon. one hundred fifty-six of these tremors were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I (scarcely perceptible) to V (strong).

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

The sulfur dioxide emission was measured at an average of 1,686 tons per day on Tuesday. Sulfur dioxide is a gas with a pungent odor that irritates skin and tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat.

The northeast monsoon and the ongoing volcanic activity will bring cloudy skies with isolated rains over Batangas, state weather bureau PAGASA said. This may lead to possible reduced visibility and mudflow during ashfall and light to moderate rains. 

Isolated thunderstorms in the vicinity of the volcano are also likely. 

TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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