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MANILA, Philippines – State volcanologists alerted the public on Friday evening, June 2, that there is “ongoing low-level activity” at Taal Volcano in the province of Batangas.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in an advisory that all 15 seismic stations of the Taal Volcano Network have recorded “a relatively weak and shallow but continuous volcanic tremor generated by the Daang Kastila fissure” since 6:35 am on Friday.
The volcanic tremor “was accompanied by increased thermal anomalies on the northern portion and upwelling of volcanic fluids in the Taal Main Crater Lake detected by remote cameras.”
Phivolcs also observed a slight increase in sulfur dioxide emissions in the past two weeks. From an average of less than 3,000 tons per day between April 1 and May 21, the average rose to 5,360 tons per day between May 22 and June 1.
In addition, there has been “pronounced” inflation or swelling of the southwest portion of Taal Volcano Island since the fourth week of May, “following a longer phase of deflation.”
These all indicate that “shallow hydrothermal activity driven by a new phase of magma degassing at depth” is taking place at Taal Volcano.
The volcano has been under Alert Level 1 or “in abnormal condition” since July 11, 2022.
Under Alert Level 1, these are possible:
- sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions
- volcanic earthquakes
- minor ashfall
- lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas
If Phivolcs sees signs of increasing unrest, it could declare Alert Level 2.
The agency reiterated on Friday that entry into Taal Volcano Island, which is a permanent danger zone, “must remain strictly prohibited.”
Phivolcs also called on local authorities in areas surrounding Taal Lake to “strengthen preparedness, contingency, and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.” – Rappler.com