Taal has a history of continued volcanic activities years after a major eruption, Phivolcs chief says

Published February 17, 2021, 4:56 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Citing Taal Volcano’s eruption history, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday, Feb. 17, urged the public to remain vigilant as the threat of an eruption remains a possibility even just a year after its major explosion in 2020.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This is similar to what happened when the volcano had a major eruption in 1965, said Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum

“Gusto ko lang i-remind ang ating mga kababayan na ang iba nag-iisip na kapag ang bulkan ay sumabog mga taon na ulit ang bibilangin bago ito sumabog uli. (I just want to remind our countrymen because others think that when a volcano erupts it will take years before it erupts again),” Solidum said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

“In fact sa Taal Volcano, noong sumabog siya ng malakas nang huli noong 1965, after that hanggang 1970 taon-taon may activity na pinapakita ang Taal Volcano. (In fact in Taal Volcano, after it had its major eruption in 1965, every year until 1970 Taal Volcano showed signs of activity),” he explained.

Solidum reminded the public that Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 1 due to possible sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas.

These hazards threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island, a permanent danger zone (PDZ), he said.

“Sana hindi matuloy pero nandiyan parati ang threat. (I hope the eruption does not continue but the threat is always there),” he pointed out.

“May mga tremors or mahahabang pagyanig dahil sa hydrothermal activity dulot ng umaakyat na gas mula sa magma sa ilalim at ito ang nagpapainit sa tubig sa ilalim ng Taal Volcano Island. (There are tremors or long duration shaking due to a hydrothermal activity caused by rising gas from the magma that warms the water beneath Taal Volcano Island),” Solidum explained.

He also noted that the heat beneath the volcano makes the main crater lake more acidic.

These activities increase the possibility of a phreatic eruption as it did in the initial part of Jan. 12, 2020 eruption of Taal Volcano, Solidum said.

“May kaugnayan ito sa nangyari noong January 2020. Weeks and months after the eruption umakyat ‘yung magma na nag-resupply sa Taal Volcano na nandoon between four to five kilometers at posibleng ‘yun ang nagre-release ng gas para uminit ang tubig sa ilalimg ng Taal Volcano Island. (This is related to what happened in January 2020. Weeks and months after the eruption the magma that re-supplied Taal Volcano climbed between four and five kilometers. It is possible that it has been releasing gas causing the water beneath the Taal Volcano Island to become hot),” he explained.

Solidum reiterated that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, especially the vicinities of the main crater and Daang Kastila fissure, is strictly prohibited.

 
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