Taal Volcano still at Alert Level 1 amid series of earthquakes: Phivolcs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2020 08:34 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2020 08:43 AM

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MANILA - Taal Volcano remains at alert level 1 amid the series of earthquakes felt in Mabini, Batangas Wednesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Thursday.

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said earthquakes were felt due to the movement of the Mabini fault, which is influenced by the Taal caldera nearby.

"Ito po'y sa pagkilos may relasyon sa caldera ... Habang umaakyat 'yong magma, malapit kasi sa [Taal caldera] kaya naiimpluwensiyahan 'yong pagkilos nito kaya nagkaganoon," he told DZMM.

Solidum said that some of the recorded earthquakes were volcano-tectonic in nature or due to the movement of the fault under the influence of the land near the volcano. 

Volcano-tectonic earthquakes are related to the day-to-day seismic activities of volcanoes with similar mechanisms of production of tectonic earthquakes, according to a Phivolcs primer.

Solidum said the same thing happened last 2017 when a series of earthquakes was felt in Mabini.

A total of 23 earthquakes, ranging to magnitudes 1.2-3.7, were recorded at Mabini and adjacent areas of Balayan bay since 10:31 a.m. of Wednesday, Phivolcs said in the bulletin.

It added that the "largest of these events" occurred at 11:19 a.m. and was felt at Intensity III in Mabini, Intensity II in Taal and Lemery and Intensity I in Agoncillo and Batangas province.

The earthquakes felt yesterday were 10 kilometers south of the magmatic dike which fed the eruption of Taal Volcano last January.

"This interpretation is supported by current GPS monitoring of ground deformation caused by the magmatic dike in the Pansipit River valley, which shows a general subsidence of the Valley since February 2020," Phivolcs said. 

A more detailed explanation on the processes occurring beneath Mabini will be provided by Phivolcs.

Meanwhile, Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Lito Castro said they have coordinated their offices amid the series of earthquakes felt in the province.

He added that they are still giving aid to the residents since the Taal eruption earlier this year. 

"Tinutulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan kasama ang ating mga local government units," he said.