By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
10 volcanic earthquakes were recorded at Taal Volcano in the last 24 hours, volcanologists said a hazardous eruption is not imminent.
Aside from increased tremors, Taal has shown abnormal activities in the past few days, based on monitoring by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Field measurements last Thursday at the eastern sector of Taal’s main crater lake showed an increase in water temperature from 30.7 degrees Celsius to 31.7°C.
The water level had also dropped from 0.46 meter to 0.41 meter, and acidity rose pH 2.95 to pH 2.67.
Phivolcs also noted ground deformation from March 18 to 27, which indicated slight inflation of the edifice.
Last Thursday, Phivolcs raised Taal Volcano’s alert level from zero to one due to the abnormal conditions.
It clarified, however, that alert level one means a “hazardous eruption is not imminent.”
The public is reminded not to near the main crater because sudden steam explosions can occur and high concentrations of lethal volcanic gases can be released.
The northern portion of the main crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, can also become hazardous when fumarolic or degassing activity along existing fissures suddenly increases, Phivolcs said.
The entire volcano island is a permanent danger zone and permanent settlement is strictly prohibited.