Netizens mistake lightning for Taal Volcano activity
An aerial view shows the Taal volcano on Jan. 17, 2020.
AFP/Ed Jones
Netizens mistake lightning for Taal Volcano activity
Bella Perez-Rubio ( - June 19, 2020 - 11:39am

MANILA, Philippines — A thunderstorm in Batangas caused some nearby residents to fear that lightning might be originating from Taal Volcano.

State weather bureau PAGASA on Thursday night issued a thunderstorm advisory forecasting moderate to heavy rain showers with lightning and strong winds over Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Cavite.

However, some netizens saw lightning and thought it might be originating from the volcano, which spew ashes earlier this year and displaced residents within its danger zone.

These fears were quickly disputed by other twitter users:

"You will notice that 'TAAL' is one of the trending topic[s] tody in the Philippine. Please! Stop the fake news, lightning or thunder [is not originating from TAAL.] There's no taal eruption. This is due to the heavy rain," one netizen said.

State seismology bureau Phivolcs did not report any volcanic activity that had to do with lightning on Thursday night.

However, the bureau on Friday said it recorded 10 volcanic earthquakes in Taal within the last 24 hour period which were "associated mainly with rock-fracturing processes beneath and around the edifice."

Phivolcs has kept Alert Level 1 hoisted over Taal Volcano, where sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsion of volcanic gas may occur and threaten areas within Taal Volcano Island (TVI).

It has also strictly prohibited entry to TVI.

Local government units, residents and pilots flying near the area are encouraged by the bureau to take necessary precautions.

Taal erupted on January 13, unleashing kilometers-high ash column and lava fountain. The restive activity led to the evacuation of thousands living on the volcano island and high-risk areas and destruction of houses and establishments in Batangas. 

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

Get updates as Phivolcs issues warnings over activity in Taal Volcano. (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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