MANILA – Despite a lull in the “surface activity” of Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of a possible “hazardous explosive eruption” within hours or days.
In an advisory on Saturday morning, the Phivolcs said that Alert Level 4 is still in effect as the volcano’s main crater steadily emitted steam and had infrequent weak explosions in the past 24 hours.
It added that these explosions “generated white to dirty white ash plumes 50 to 600 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest of the Main Crater.
Sulfur dioxide measured 360 tonnes, consistent with the weak plume activity at the main crater on Friday, while 876 volcanic earthquakes have already been recorded.
“The Taal Volcano Network recorded eight hundred seventy-six volcanic earthquakes including six tremor events and twenty low-frequency earthquakes,” Phivolcs experts said.
“Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” they added.
Phivolcs reiterated that Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-km radius from the main crater and along the Pansipit River Valley should be totally evacuated.
It also advised residents to take the necessary precautions against heavy and prolonged ashfall. Pilots were also told to avoid the airspace around the volcano since ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column may damage aircraft./PN