Phivolcs logs 383 quakes at Taal Volcano in last 24 hours
White steam emits from Taal volcano crater as seen from a Philippine airforce helicopter during an aerial survey on Jan. 21, 2020. Philippine authorities ordered a crackdown on January 20 on evacuees' daily visits to homes in the danger zone around Taal volcano, amid a warning it could be "recharging" for a more powerful explosion.
AFP/Ted Aljibe, File photo

Phivolcs logs 383 quakes at Taal Volcano in last 24 hours

(Philstar.com) - April 14, 2021 - 12:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists on Wednesday said they recorded close to 400 volcanic earthquakes at Taal Volcano in the last 24-hour period. 

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in its 8 a.m. bulletin said of the total 383 quakes detected, 283 were episodes of volcanic tremor with durations of one to 12 minutes. The remaining 143 quakes were low-frequency quakes. 

Phivolcs said it also detected a low-level background tremor which started on April 8 at 9:05 a.m. 

"Upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the Main Crater lake occurred yesterday morning and generated 300 m-tall steam-laden plumes from active fumaroles on the northern side," state volcanologists said. 

On Monday, sulfur dioxide emission averaged 1,886 tonnes/day, they added. 

"Ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR monitoring continue to record a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption. These parameters indicate persistent magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice."

Alert Level 2 risks 

Alert Level 2 has been hoisted over the volcano since March 9, a little over a year since it last erupted. 

"DOST-PHIVOLCS reminds the public that at Alert Level 2, 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]," the institute said. 

It also strongly urged that entry "be strictly prohibited into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake."

Taal woke up from its decades-long slumber on Jan. 12, 2020, unleashing a 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 the destruction of houses and establishments in Batangas.

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

— Bella Perez-Rubio with a  report from Gaea Katreena Cabico 

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