Phivolcs lowers Taal alert level due to ‘decreased unrest’

Phivolcs lowers Taal alert level due to âdecreased unrestâ
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

MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists lowered Friday night Taal’s status from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, indicating “decreased unrest” in the volcano.

Phivolcs noted that “there has been a cessation of eruptive activity” at Taal Volcano following the phreatomagmatic eruption of the main crater last July 1 and 19 weak phreatomagmatic bursts until July 9.

“Unrest since then has been characterized by renewed seismic activity, generally declining volcanic gas emission, very slight ground deformation and positive microgravity anomalies,” Phivolcs said.

Phivolcs warned that the lowering of the alert level over Taal Volcano should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of eruption has disappeared.

“Should an uptrend or pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn a potential eruption, the alert level may be raised back to Alert Level 3,” state volcanologists said.

They added that people who have returned to their homes after the alert level was lowered must be prepared for a quick and organized evacuation should Alert Level 2 be hoisted back up.

At Alert Level 2, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur within the Taal Volcano Island and along its coast.

Phivolcs recommends that people be strictly barred from entering Taal Volcano Island and Taal’s permanent danger zone.

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