Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert level to 1

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano (GRIG C.MONTEGRANDE / INQUIRER file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Monday lowered the alert level status of Taal Volcano to Alert Level 1.

In an advisory, Phivolcs said it is lowering the alert level status of Taal Volcano from Level 2 (decreased unrest) to Level 1 9low-level unrest) “to reflect the overall decrease in the level of monitoring parameters.”

State seismologists, however, said this does not mean that the volcano no longer poses danger.

“Alert Level 1 means that the volcano is still in abnormal condition and should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared,” Phivolcs said.

The alert level will be further lowered to Alert Level 0 should the monitoring parameters return to baseline level after  sufficient observation period, according to the agency.

Taal Volcano’s present condition, Phivolcs said, has been characterized by “baseline volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Taal Volcano Island (TVI) edifices and weak degassing and surface activity at the main crater.”

The Taal Volcano network has recorded a decline in the daily activities of volcanic earthquakes from seven from January 1 to May 31, 2022, to zero since June 13, 2022.

The sulfur dioxide flux of the volcano once averaged 1,214 tons a day between May and July 2022. The latest emission rates fell to 237 tons a day.

As for the main crater of Taal, its surface activity has declined to weak emission of 300 to 2,400-meter tall steam-rich plumes from fumaroles or active tase vents on the main crater.

Phivolcs said the last significant activities from the main crater were phreatomagmatic bursts on February 2-10 and March 25, 2022, which recorded 300 to 3,000-meter tall steam-rich plumes.

“Since then, background hydrothermal activity in the main crater lake has been quietly transpiring,” said the agency.

The volcano’s continuous GPS monitoring from November 2021 to April 2022 and the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar monitoring from January 2021 to June 2022 also recorded short to medium-term deflation of the volcano, with the TVI deflation rates particularly declining or slowing down, and slight uplift of western Taal Caldera.

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Inquirer calls for support for the victims of Taal volcano eruption

Responding to appeals for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to the families affected by the recent eruption of Taal volcano.

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