Taal Volcano emits 300-meter steam-laden plumes, elevated unrest recurring: Phivolcs


Posted at May 18 2021 12:16 PM | Updated as of May 19 2021 10:34 AM

Taal Volcano emits 300-meter steam-laden plumes, elevated unrest recurring: Phivolcs 1
A flock of birds fly above the Taal volcano island on Januray 12, 2021, a year after its eruption in Batangas province south of Manila, Philippines. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Taal Volcano on Tuesday morning emitted steam-laden plumes that rose to 300 meters, Phivolcs said Tuesday as it warned that elevated unrest has been recurring.

The upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake and active degassing from fumaroles on the main crater produced the plumes which were observed since daybreak, Phivolcs said in its Taal Volcano advisory released 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The volcano remains under alert level 2, the second-lowest in a 5-step system, which warns of probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption, state seismologists said.

Taal's conditions remain unstable, according to Phivolcs.

It also recorded 288 volcanic earthquakes, with 249 volcanic tremors lasting up to 20 minutes and "low-level background" tremor that has persisted since April 8, the agency said.

"Electronic tilt monitoring recorded a slight but very abrupt inflation of Taal Volcano Island that began yesterday, while longer-term ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR monitoring continue to record a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption," it said.

"These parameters indicate persistent magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice," it said.

Phivolcs advised that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake remained strictly prohibited.

Towns surrounding the lake have been advised to continuously assess and strengthen their preparedness in case of renewed unrest.

The volcano, which sits on an island surrounded by a lake in Batangas province, had a steam-driven eruption on Jan. 12, 2020, triggering an ash fall that reached parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The eruption displaced more than 700,000 people in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna was pegged at P3.4 billion, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

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