Phivolcs continues to monitor Taal

Almost a year since Taal Volcano erupted, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has continued to monitor its activities as it remains under an "abnormal" state. 

In the latest bulletin issued by Phivolcs Saturday, only one volcanic earthquake was recorded along with weak emission of steam-laden plumes from the volcano's main crater vents. 

Ground deformation parameters based on continuous GPS monitoring from March last year to present also indicated a "slow and slight inflation" of the northwestern sector of the Taal Caldera. 

Phivolcs said this swelling was also recorded by electronic tilt on northwest Volcano Island since the second week of July 2020. 

GPS data from the southwestern sector of the caldera and the Taal Volcano Island yielded no significant change after the huge post-eruption subsidence, the agency added. 

Phivolcs has reminded the public that Alert Level 1 is maintained over the volcano which means 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.

With this, the State volcanology bureau emphasized that entry into the volcano island and its permanent danger zone, especially within the vicinity of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain "strictly prohibited."

"Local government units are advised to continuously assess previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency, and communication measures in case of renewed unrest," it added.

The public, particularly residents near the volcano, were also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes.

Aside from Taal, Phivolcs is closely monitoring other active volcanos in the country, including Kanlaon and Mayon, which are also at Alert Level 1 or an abnormal condition.