Alert levels over Taal, Mayon unchanged
File photo shows Mayon Volcano in Albay. Phivolcs said Wednesday that "crater glow" has been observed in the volcano, which suggests that "remnant magma" may be rising to the shallow levels.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File

Alert levels over Taal, Mayon unchanged

Franco Luna ( - February 9, 2020 - 11:45am

Thousands still in centers after Taal eruption

MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists are monitoring Taal and Mayon due to constant but moderate levels of volcanic unrest, they said on Sunday morning.

According to separate bulletins by state volcanology and seimology bureau Phivolcs, Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 3 while Mayon Volcano remains on Alert Level 2.

Alert Level 3 signifies a "decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption" while Level 2 means increasing unrest.  

Taal eruption still possible while many remain in shelters 

As it has been of late, Taal Volcano's activity in the past 24 hours was marked by "moderate emission of white to dirty white steam-laden plumes," Phivolcs said. 

According to Phivolcs, the Taal Volcano Network also documented some 115 volcanic earthquakes within that time frame, which "signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the Main Crater."

Taal Volcano's initial steam eruption on Sunday, January 12 saw Phivolcs declare alert statuses as high as Level 4 on the volcano. The level has since gone down as the possibility of a volcanic eruption grew weaker, but Phivolcs has consistently warned that the possibility of one is still very much present. 

This, as many remain displaced and unable to return home according to the latest situation report by the National Disaster Risk Response and Management Council (NDRRMC) almost a month since the volcano's initial unrest.

The report said that 21,732 persons were still taking shelter in 128 temporary evacuation centers while 220,741 were "being served outside of evacuation centers." Most of these went to relatives' homes, reports said. 

Many have cast fear over the uncertainty of returning home as those displaced and robbed of livelihood include childrenAeta communities and fisherfolk

Mayon at moderate level of unrest

Although no volcanic earthquakes were observed in the past 24 hours, Phivolcs reiterated that Alert Level 2 remained erected over Mayon as it still exhibited a moderate level of unrest. 

"Moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that crept downslope before drifting west-southwest and east-northeast was observed," Phivolcs said in their 8 a.m. bulletin for the volcano. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Phivolcs also observed a distinct crater glow in the volcano. The following Thursday, an instrument that the agency used in monitoring the volcano was reported to be stolen.

"Loss of equipment hinders the monitoring of Mayon Volcano and may endanger lives," Phivolcs said in an earlier press statement, calling for the public to come forward with any info. 

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