In this Jan. 13 2020 photo, Taal Volcano continues to erupt ash plumes.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Taal Volcano activity has 'generally waned' but explosive eruption still possible
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - January 16, 2020 - 9:14am

MANILA, Philippines — Activity of Taal Volcano has "generally waned" in the past 24 hours but Alert Level 4 is still raised over the volcano in Batangas province, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Thursday morning.

The crisis level in effect over the volcano indicates that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, Phivolcs said the volcano emitted short-lived dark gray plumes 500 meters high at 6:17 a.m. and another one that reach 800 meters high at 6:21 a.m. This eruption dispersed ash southwest to west of the main crater.

"Activity in the past 24 hours has generally waned to weak emission of steam-laden plumes 700 meters high that dispersed ash to the southwest," Phivolcs said.

Since 1 p.m. on Sunday, Phivolcs has recorded a total of 566 volcanic earthquakes, 172 of which registered magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 and were felt at Intensities I to V.

Since 5 p.m. on Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday, the seismic network plotted 103 volcanic earthquakes, 14 of which had magnitudes 1.4 to 4 and were felt at Intensities I to III.

"Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity," Phivolcs said.

As of Wednesday, sulfur dioxide emission from the volcano was measured at an average of 4,186 tonnes/day.

Phivolcs reiterated its call for total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island, as well as high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from the main crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed.

"Residents around Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall," Phivolcs said.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 27, 2020 - 9:35am

Get updates as Phivolcs issues warnings over Taal Volcano's unrest. (Main photo by Adel)

February 27, 2020 - 9:35am

Philvolcs says in its 8 a.m. bulletin that Taal Volcano’s main crater emitted steam-laden plumes that are 300 meters high between 9pm February 26 to 3am of February 27.

Taal Volcano remains at Alert Level 2.

February 15, 2020 - 4:32pm

Police say they are still waiting for the Scene of the Crime Operatives for confirmation of the victim's identity, whose body was found dead underneath mud on Taal volcano Island.

February 14, 2020 - 9:29am

Phivolcs downgrades the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2.

The state seismic network characterized the activity of the volcano in the last three weeks by "less frequent volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Taal Volcano Island edifices and weak steam/gas emissions" at the main crater.

Under Alert Level 2, Phivolcs warned that sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the volcano island.

"People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall, and minor earthquakes," Phivolcs said.

February 8, 2020 - 10:15am

Alert Level 3 is still up over Taal Volcano, state volcanologists say.

According to the 8 a.m. bulletin Saturday, the volcano emitted white to dirty white steam-laden plumes rising 200 to 300m high before drifting southwest in the past 24 hours.

"Weak steaming from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila trail is currently ongoing. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 54 tonnes/day on February 7, 2020," Phivolcs says. 

"The Taal Volcano Network recorded one hundred fifteen (115) volcanic earthquakes including three (3) low-frequency events. These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the Main Crater," it adds.

February 7, 2020 - 8:36am

Alert Level 3 is still raised over Taal Volcano as its latest activity signify possible eruptive activity at the main crater.

In the last 24 hours, Phivolcs observed moderate emission of white to dirty white steam-laden plumes rising 200 to 300 meters high before drifting southwest.

The state seismic network also observed weak steamong from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila trail.

At least 118 volcanic earthquakes, including five low-frequency events and one harmonic tremor that lasted three minutes were recorded.

"DOST-PHIVOLCS reminds the public that sudden steam-driven and even weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall, and lethal volcanic gas expulsions can still occur and threaten areas within Taal Volcano Island and nearby lakeshores," Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. bulletin for February 7.

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