The probability of sudden steam-driven and weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall, and lethal volcanic gas expulsions in areas within Taal Volcano Island and the nearby lake shores remain, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Friday.
In related developments:
• The European Union has donated €750,000 or P42 million in humanitarian aid to those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
The funding, which is part of the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool, is expected to benefit some 288,000 people displaced by the disaster, the EU Delegation in Manila said in a press statement.
“This contribution will support the local government of Batangas and our humanitarian partners on the ground in providing crucial support to those who have lost their shelters, belongings, and sources of livelihood in the wake of the eruption of the Taal Volcano,” said Janez LenarÄiÄ, EU commissioner for crisis management.
• Fifty liters of breast milk were formally turned over Friday by the office of Senator Pia Cayetano and the Taguig city government to the Batangas Medical Center for the benefit of babies affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Cayetano said all 50.1 liters of breast milk donations were gathered and collected from nursing mothers who participated in “Breast Milk Ko, Alay Ko,” a breast-milk letting event organized on Jan. 23 by the senator’s office in partnership with Taguig city.
PHIVOLCS Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief Mariton Bornas earlier said the drop in the volcano’s SO2 emission could not be the only basis for authorities to lower Taal Volcano’s alert level status. Macon Ramos-Araneta
Bornas said before PHIVOLCS was able to record a low SO2 emission, there was a fluctuation in this factor, even reaching more than 5,000 average tons per day.
Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 3 since Jan. 26.
Meanwhile, for the past 24 hours, PHIVOLCS has also observed moderate emission of white to dirty-white plumes 500 meters to 700 meters tall.
Seven volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes 1.7 to 2.5 and with no felt intensities were also recorded.
The Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes, recorded two low-frequency events.
“These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the main crater,” PHIVOLCS said.
PHIVOLCS reiterated that the entry to Taal Volcano Island, as well as areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a 7-km radius from the main crater must be strictly prohibited.
It said aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.