By Katherine Marajas
BATANGAS – Five volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the last 24 hours within the vicinity of Taal Volcano, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday.
The volcanic earthquakes were associated mainly with rock-fracturing processes beneath and around the edifice.
As stated by Phivolcs in its 8 a.m Taal Volcano Bulletin, “weak steaming or fumarolic activity rising 20 meters to 30 meters high before drifting southwest was observed from vents on the Main Crater and from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila Trail”.
Philvolcs reminded the public that “sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).”
Entry to TVI, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, remains strictly prohibited.
Phivolcs also advised local government units to assess previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake for damage and road accessibilities, and to strengthen preparedness, contingency, and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.
Residents were also reminded to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes.
Philvolcs also warned pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.
As of this writing, Phivolcs is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity.
Taal Volcano remains under alert Level 1 since March 19 after it began spewing ash and lava on January 12.