Phivolcs records 100 quakes at Taal Volcano in last 24 hours

By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported roughly 100 earthquakes at the Taal Volcano from Saturday to Sunday, amid a continuing high volcanic seismicity since March this year.

Taal Volcano (Wow Batangas website / File Photo / MANILA BULLETIN) Taal Volcano (Wow Batangas website / File Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on the 24-hour monitoring of the Taal Volcano's seismic network from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, 100 volcanic earthquakes were recorded.

Phivolcs said that one of these events, which occurred at around 8:22 p.m. Saturday, was slightly felt at Intensity I by residents of Barangay Pira-piraso in Talisay, Batangas.

Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum earlier pointed out that the number of volcanic earthquakes that occurred in Taal Volcano remains high since its alert level was raised to 1 on March 28, 2019.

He noted that earthquakes have been felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I (scarcely perceptible) to Intensity III (weak shaking) in the towns of Balete, Talisay, Agoncillo, and San Nicolas, Batangas in the past few months.

While volcanic seismicity remains high, alert level 1 will be maintained as "hazardous eruption is not imminent," according to Phivolcs.

Solidum explained that Alert Level 2 will be raised if these signs continue or are frequently observed from Taal Volcano: increasing number of volcanic earthquakes, higher concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases, inflation of the volcano’s edifice, increased water temperature and/or ground probe hole temperatures, and occurrence of widespread bubbling at the lake of the main crater.

While "hazardous eruption is not imminent," Phivolcs still reminded the public that the main crater should be strictly off-limits because sudden steam explosions can occur and high concentrations of toxic 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 steam emission along existing fissures suddenly increases.

Furthermore, the public is reminded that the entire volcano island is a permanent danger zone and permanent settlement is strictly prohibited.

Taal Volcano had a total of 33 historical eruptions and the last major eruption happened on October 3, 1977.