Phivolcs records continued phreatomagmatic bursts in Taal

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Phivolcs records continued phreatomagmatic bursts in Taal
Five short phreatomagmatic bursts occurred at 6:47 a.m., 6:06 p.m., 9:21 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. on Thursday and 2:59 a.m. yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines — Over the past 24 hours, phreatomagmatic bursts continued at the restive Taal Volcano, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Five short phreatomagmatic bursts occurred at 6:47 a.m., 6:06 p.m., 9:21 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. on Thursday and 2:59 a.m. yesterday.

“The phreatomagmatic bursts produced short, jetted plumes that rose to 200 meters above the main crater lake,” Phivolcs said.

The agency also recorded 58 volcanic earthquakes, including five explosion-type earthquakes, 24 low frequency volcanic earthquakes and 27 volcanic tremor events that lasted for one to six minutes.

High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas, averaging 6,095 tons, were also detected on Thursday. The volcano spewed steam-rich plumes that rose 1,200 meters before drifting northwest from the main crater.

Phivolcs said Taal remains under Alert Level 3 and entry into the volcano island, a permanent danger zone, and the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel is banned.

“All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time,” Phivolcs added.

Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas issued Memorandum Circular No. 01 Series of 2021 restricting leisure travel to high-risk areas, a radius of seven kilometers from the volcano crater.

The memo said leisure travel to Barangays Banyaga and Bilibinwang in Agoncillo town and Barangays Buso-buso, Gulod and Bugaan East in the town of Laurel shall not be allowed.

Leisure activities like staycations, camping, sunbathing, pool swimming, picnicking, island hopping, group water activities, partying and merriment events are also prohibited. Existing hotel bookings or resort reservations in high-risk areas shall be cancelled, with establishments encouraged to give a refund or allow rebooking of reservations.

Exempted from this prohibition are Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited establishments authorized to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of public emergency.

Mandanas said only essential travel in and out of the high-risk areas shall be allowed. For non-essential travel, travelers must use the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Meanwhile, other DOT-accredited accommodation establishments in other parts of Batangas shall continue to operate on a limited capacity until the DOST-Phivolcs and RDRRMC orders total evacuation within a 14-km radius from the volcano. Arnell Ozaeta

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