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Taal’s activity now shrinking, says Phivolcs

Fewer volcanic quakes and weak emission of plumes have been observed in Taal for the past 24 hours as the volcano remains under Alert Level 2 (decreased unrest), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Monday.

But the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Operations Center remain on white alert amid the downgrading of Taal Volcano’s alert level from Level 3 to Level 2.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal said the agency continued to monitor the volcano’s activity and situation.

Under the white alert, only the staff of the NDRRMC Operations Center is on the watch for any new development or signs of unrest on Taal Volcano.

The NDRRMC was on red alert from Jan. 12 to 25; blue alert on Jan. 26; and white alert on Feb. 14.

The Phivolcs on Friday lowered the status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 3 to 2 due to fewer volcanic earthquakes and weak steam or gas emissions at the main crater for the past three weeks following its eruption last Jan. 12.

Phivolcs executive director Renato Solidum Jr. earlier explained there were 65 volcanic quakes recorded, compared to 69 the previous day.

Volcanic earthquakes are caused by movements or eruptions of magma from the volcano, Phivolcs executive director Renato Solidum Jr. earlier explained.

Steam-laden plumes measured 100 to 200 meters tall, lower than the 200 to 300 in height plume emission the previous day.

A weaker eruption is based on the height of the plume coming out of the crater. Volcanic plume is a column of hot volcanic ash and gas emitted into the atmosphere during an explosive volcanic eruption.

The average sulfur dioxide emission for the past 24 hours reached 58 tonnes, a bit higher than the 53 tonnes recorded the previous day.

Phivolcs earlier announced that there is still an imminent threat of an eruption, despite lowering Taal Volcano’s status to Alert Level 2.

Entry into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone, is still strictly prohibited, it added.

Local government units are likewise advised to additionally assess previously evacuated areas within the seven-kilometer radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.

Further, people are advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall, and minor earthquakes.

The magma intrusion from below causes the fissures to form. A fissure is a linear volcanic vent through which lava erupts, usually without any explosive activity. The vent is often a few meters wide and maybe many kilometers long. 

Topics: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology , Alert Level 2 , National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
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