Phivolcs: Volcanic activity underground despite weaker Taal explosions
An aerial view shows the crater of the Taal volcano on January 19, 2020.
AFP/Ed Jones
Phivolcs: Volcanic activity underground despite weaker Taal explosions
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - January 20, 2020 - 9:50am

MANILA, Philippines — While the eruptions at Taal Volcano have weakened since it exploded to life a week ago, Alert Level 4 remains in effect, which means a potentially catastrophic blast could still happen within hours or days.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the activity in the volcano’s main crater for the past 24 hours has been characterized "steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions.”

These generated white to dirty white ash plumes between 500 to 1,000 meters and dispersed ash southwest of the main crater.

State volcanologists said the occurrence of earthquakes in the Taal area shows there is a continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the volcano’s surface, which may lead to further eruptive activity.

Since the afternoon of January 12 when Taal began spewing ash, 714 volcanic earthquakes were plotted by the Philippine Seismic Network. One hundred seventy-six of these tremors registered at magnitudes M1.2 to M4.1 and were felt at Intensities I (scarcely perceptible) to V (strong).

For the past 24 hours, 673 volcanic earthquakes, including 12 low-frequency tremors, were observed by the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetected by the PSN.

State weather bureau PAGASA said ash will be drifted to south and southwest of the main crater if the ash plume remains below five kilometers.

But if a major eruption occurs during the day and eruption column exceeds five kilometers, ash will be also drifted to the eastern and northeastern sectors and may fall on portions of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km radius from Taal main crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed,” Phivolcs said.

Over 16,000 families or more than 70,000 are seeking temporary shelter in evacuation centers amid the ongoing volcanic activity.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with