Phivolcs: 'Elevated' increase in seismic activities observed in Taal Volcano
Business as usual for some fishermen in Laurel, Batangas despite the threat of a volcanic eruption in January 2020.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

Phivolcs: 'Elevated' increase in seismic activities observed in Taal Volcano

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 24, 2021 - 2:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists reported Wednesday an “elevated” increase in seismic activity at Taal Volcano in Batangas.

In an advisory, Phivolcs said Alert Level 2, which signifies increased unrest, is currently maintained over Taal Volcano but it stressed “that unrest has been elevating and is under constant evaluation.”

It said the total number of volcanic tremors has increased to 2,015 since the onset of increased activity on February 13. A total of 734 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and 18 hybrid earthquake events have been also recorded.

“Overall seismic energy release has markedly increased since yesterday afternoon compared to previous seismic swarms,” Phivolcs said.

The volcano has been also displaying increased activities on the following parameters: sulfur dioxide gas emission, and ground deformation of the Taal Volcano Island and the Taal caldera region.

“The above parameters indicate that magma has been migrating across shallow depths beneath Taal Volcano Island, increasing possibilities of magmatic eruption,” Phivolcs said.

Risks while under Alert Level 2

With Alert Level 2 hoisted over the volcano, the institute reiterated that sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island.

It strongly recommended that entry into volcano island and Taal’s permanent danger zone as well as occupancy and boating on Taal Lake be strictly prohibited.

Taal woke up from its decades-long slumber on Jan. 12, 2020, unleashing kilometers-high ash column and lava fountain the next day. 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.

A year after the eruption, hundreds of displaced families are still seeking temporary shelters in evacuation centers.

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