PHILVOCS advises public to avoid Taal Volcano

IMG SOURCE: CNN Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported Wednesday an “elevated” increase in seismic activity at Taal Volcano, warning the public against visiting the tourist spot in Batangas.

The state volcanologists said the total number of volcanic tremors has increased to 2,015 since the onset of increased activity on February 13. A total of 734 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and 18 hybrid earthquake events have been also recorded.

“Posibleng magkaroon ng steam-driven or phreatic eruption na delikado na sa tao kung sila ay nasa isla o malapit dito tulad ng shoreline sa tabi ng isla.”

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum.

He added that the volcano is still on alert level 2, the second lowest in a 5 step- system. They are also monitoring if there will be a movement of magma, whether explosive or slow moving.

“Kailangan bantayan kung ang magma na umuusad ay lalabas ba talaga. At kung sakaling lalabas, titingnan natin kung ito ay magiging explosive o dahan-dahan magkakaroon ng lava,” he said.

The volcano has been also displaying increased activities on the following parameters: sulfur dioxide gas emission, and ground deformation of the Taal Volcano Island and the Taal caldera region.

It strongly recommended that entry into volcano island and Taal’s permanent danger zone as well as occupancy and boating on Taal Lake be strictly prohibited.

On January last year, Taal’s eruption affected over half a million people after it unleashed kilometers-high ash column and lava fountain the next day. The restive activity led to the evacuation of thousands living on the volcano island and high-risk areas, and destruction of houses and establishments in Batangas.

A year after the eruption, hundreds of displaced families are still seeking temporary shelters in evacuation centers.

Source: ABS-CBN and PhilStar

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