Taal Volcano in Batangas remains under Alert Level 2 due to continuous “increased unrest” in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Friday, April 16.
From Thursday, April 15 to Friday, April 16, Phivolcs logged 168 volcanic earthquakes, including 66 episodes of volcanic tremor that lasted one to six minutes, 102 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and a low-level background tremor that started at 9:05 a.m. on April 8.
Phivolcs also observed a “very weak” emission of steam-laden plumes from Taal Volcano’s vents that rose 10 meters.
Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission averaged 1,254 tonnes per day on April 15 while temperature highs of 71.8 degrees Celsius and pH of 1.59 were last measured from the main crater lake on March 4 and Feb. 12, 2021, respectively.
Phivolcs added that ground deformation parameters continued to indicate a “very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region since after the January 2020 eruption.”
“These parameters may indicate increased magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice,” it said.
Phivolcs said Alert Level 2 is maintained over Taal Volcano.
The restive volcano in Batangas has been under Alert Level 2 since March 9, 2021.
“Sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around TVI (Taal Volcano Island),” Phivolcs pointed out.
It warned the public from entering the volcano island, which is a permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and Daang Kastila fissure.
Occupancy and boating on Taal Lake should also be strictly prohibited, Phivolcs added.
The local government units (LGUs) were advised to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.
Civil aviation authorities were also asked to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.