Existing cracks near Taal Volcano widen as it continues to emit steam
A resident walks amongst the debris of their destroyed house covered in mud and ash due to the eruption of the nearby Taal volcano, at a village in Laurel, Batangas province on January 16, 2020. The threat of the Philippines' Taal volcano unleashing a potentially catastrophic eruption remains high, authorities warned on January 16, saying it was showing dangerous signs despite a "lull" in spewing ash.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Existing cracks near Taal Volcano widen as it continues to emit steam
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - January 17, 2020 - 9:09am

MANILA, Philippines — Existing fissures in areas near Taal Volcano widened by a few centimeters, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Friday.

In its 8 a.m. update, the state seismic network said existing cracks in barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas province have been observed to widen.

Alert level 4 is still raised over the volcano, which means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

The volcano's main crater continued to emit steady steam and infrequent weak explosions in the past explosions.

The latest emissions generated dark gray ash plumes 100 to 800 meters high and dispersed ash southwest to west of the main crater, Phivolcs said.

Phivolcs also observed that the shoreline around the whole of Taal Lake has been receding.

From 5 a.m. on Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday, Phivolcs recorded 65 volcanic earthquakes, two of which with magnitudes 1.3 to 3.1 and were both felt at Intensity I.

It also noted that the Taal Volcano network recorded 944 volcanic earthquakes with 29 low-frequency earthquakes.

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

The towns of Laurel, Taal, Agoncillo and Talisay have been on lockdown to prevent people from entering the "off limits zone."

The four towns are within the 14-kilometer danger zone, which is susceptible to ballistic projectiles, base surges and volcanic tsunami.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 18, 2020 - 7:55pm

Get updates as Phivolcs issues warnings over activity in Taal Volcano. (Main photo by Philstar.com/Rosette 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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