A 24-hour convenience store remains closed in Taal, Batangas on January 27, 2020. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has lowered the alert level over Taal Volcano but said people should still remain vigilant for volcanic activity.
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Phivolcs: Prohibit entry into 7-km Taal danger zone despite decreased volcanic activity
(Agence France-Presse) - January 27, 2020 - 8:36am

MANILA, Philippines — Entry into a seven-kilometer zone around Taal Volcano should remain strictly prohibited, the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology said Monday morning, saying sudden explosions and earthquakes could still happen despite the lower alert level over the volcano.

In its January 27 bulletin, Phivolcs said activity in Taal's main crater has been characterized by weak to moderate steam-laden emissions with sulfur dioxide emissions measured at an average of 87 tons a day. It added the Tala Volcano Network recorded 170 volcanic earthquakes, including four low-frequency ones.

"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," it said.

While it recommends keeping people at least seven kilometers away from the volcano, "local government units are advised to assess areas outside the seven-kilometer radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest."

It added people should be prepared for ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall and minor earthquakes. Heavy and prolonged rainfall could also bring lahar near active river channels where ash has been deposited, Phivolcs said.

"Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircrafts," it also said.

PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY (PHIVOLCS) TAAL ERUPTION TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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