Taal acts up with 77 volcanic quakes; alert 3 stays

Seventy-seven volcanic quakes were recorded in Taal in the past 24 hours, signifying magmatic activity as the volcano remains under Alert Level 3, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Monday.

The volcanic quakes included 11 harmonic tremors lasting one to four minutes. These quakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the main crater, the agency said.

Alert Level 3 means sudden steam-driven and weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall, and lethal volcanic gas expulsions may still occur in the areas within Taal Volcano Island and the nearby lake shores.

Plume emission continues to get lower, measuring 20 to 50 meters tall.

On Feb. 8, Phivolcs recorded an average of 116 tons of sulfur dioxide emission. It says entry into Taal Volcano Island, as well as into the areas over Taal Lake and the communities west of the island within the seven-kilometer radius from the main crater is still strictly prohibited.

“People are advised to observe precaution due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall, and minor earthquakes,” the agency said.

Local government units are advised to assess the areas outside the seven-kilometer radius for damage and road accessibility and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest. 

In Batangas,  houses damaged by the volcano’s eruption last month has reached 2,308, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported, adding some 328 of the total were totally damaged and the rest partially damaged.

The houses, mostly located on Volcano Island and other villages near the danger zone, were damaged by the series of earthquakes in the area due to volcanic activity.

Meanwhile, a neophyte lawmaker on Monday pushed for the creation of a commission that will ensure adequate food supply during calamities or crises, like the recent eruption of Taal Volcano.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar, in filing House Bill 5785, the “Right to Adequate Food Framework Act,” said  “adequate food is not a matter of charity but a legal entitlement.

“Hunger is inconsistent with human dignity and human rights and must be eliminated. The State shall provide for a framework to address and eliminate hunger in an organized manner.” Villar said.

Topics: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology , Taal Volcano , National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
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