FALSE: Taal Volcano 'draws in' water from Oriental Mindoro

Claim: Facebook page Laguna Spotted said Taal Volcano "drew in" water from the seas of Oriental Mindoro following the volcano's eruption on January 12, which could lead to a stronger eruption.

Part of Laguna Spotted's post said: "Nahigop na daw po ng Taal Volcano ang dagat sa Oriental Mindoro at magdudulot ito ng mas malakas pa na pagsabog. (Taal Volcano has already drawn in water from the Oriental Mindoro sea, which could trigger a stronger eruption.)" It was posted on January 13.

The page also claimed that the eruption on January 12 was "just a warning," and that the next eruption might be stronger because of the volcano's supposed drawing in of water from Oriental Mindoro, as well as the continuous thunder and lightning activities caused by the eruption.

As of writing, the post was shared 512 times with 400 reactions and 47 comments. A reader sent the post to Rappler for verification.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it is “almost unlikely” for Taal Volcano to draw in water from the seas of Oriental Mindoro because the two bodies of water are not connected.

Kung magkakaroon ng low tide [sa Mindoro], most likely hindi about sa Taal (If a low tide occurs [in Mindoro], it is most likely not connected to Taal),” Lincoln Olayta, research specialist I from Phivolcs, told Rappler via phone interview.

Oriental Mindoro is surrounded by West Philippine Sea and Sulu Sea, while the lake surrounding Taal Volcano is contained and does not flow out. Rock fragments and other volcanic debris from the 1754 eruption are lodged in the Pansipit River, blocking the lake's only channel to Balayan Bay, which is connected to the West Philippine Sea.

The map below shows the locations of Taal Lake, Oriental Mindoro, and Pansipit River.

As of 5:00 pm of January 15, alert status at Taal Volcano remains at Alert Level 4, indicating that "hazardous explosive eruption" remains a possibility. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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More fact checks on the January 2020 Taal Volcano eruption: