3 phreatomagmatic eruptions recorded in Taal

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Three consecutive phreatomagmatic bursts, which generated plumes that rose up to 900 meters, were recorded in Taal Volcano yesterday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the first eruption was recorded at around 10:30 a.m.

The succeeding explosions were recorded at 10:47 a.m. and 10:55 a.m.

Phivolcs said up to 10 phreatomagmatic eruptions have been tallied since Saturday last week.

Taal’s alert level was raised to three following the eruptions on March 26.

Phivolcs said sulfur dioxide flux in the volcano was measured at 6,405 tons per day on Wednesday.

No volcanic earthquake was recorded in the past 24 hours even with upwelling of hot volcanic fluid in the main crater.

State seismologists said magmatic intrusion in the main crater may result in more eruptions.

Evacuation of residents on Taal Volcano island and Barangays Bilibinwang and Banyaga in Agoncillo and Gulod and eastern Bugaan East in Laurel, which are considered at high risk,  is strongly recommended.

Phivolcs cited the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami during stronger eruptions.

At least 2,047 families or 7,237 people from 18 barangays remained in 24 evacuation centers in Batangas yesterday, according to Col. Glicerio Cansilao, Batangas police director.

He said the temporary shelters are in San Luis, Lemery, Agoncillo, Laurel and Cuenca towns.

“We are conducting police visibility to prevent looting in three barangays – Buso Buso, Gulod and Bugaan in East Laurel – and assistance to the Red Cross in the distribution of relief goods aside from intensified checkpoints or border control in affected towns,” Cansilao said.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Calabarzon said Batangas remains under a state of calamity under Sangguniang Resolution 526.

More than P800,000 worth of assistance was provided to affected families by the  Batangas provincial government and Tanauan city government. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Ed Amoroso

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