No other eruption, quake observed on Taal Volcano after phreatomagmatic event: Solidum

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2021 11:00 AM | Updated as of Jul 02 2021 11:12 AM

No other eruption, quake observed on Taal Volcano after phreatomagmatic event: Solidum 1
Fishermen prepare their boats on the Taal Lake as work continues despite the threat of the Taal Volcano, July 2, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The state seismology agency said on Friday that no other phreatomagmatic event has so far been recorded on Taal Volcano after the eruption the day before.

“Matapos ang apat na maliliit na pagsabog hanggang 200 metro ang taas kagabi early evening ay wala na pong sumunod. Ang makikita natin ngayon ay ang paglabas ng maputing usok, may gas po diyan at water vapor na kadalasan ay pinapadpad po 'yan papuntang southwest,” said Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Phivolcs head.

(No other eruption was recorded after the 4 short bursts that went as high as 200 meters early evening. What we're seeing now is the release of white smoke, gas and water vapor that usually drifts to the southwest.)

In an interview on TeleRadyo, Solidum said their instruments on Taal volcano detected less earthquakes. He added there is not much pressure now on the valcano after it was able to release gas. Instruments also showed that Taal's swelling remains steady, he said.

Phivolcs on Thursday raised alert level 3 over the Taal Volcano, which means there has been "magmatic unrest" at its main crater.

The agency also "strongly" recommended the evacuation of residents on Taal Volcano Island as well as barangays in the municipality of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas in anticipation of hazards and a possible volcanic tsunami. 

Solidum said they recommended the evacuation of residents in 5 barangays living within 7 kilometers of the volcano.

However, Solidum said they continue to monitor Taal and observe for possible magmatic intrusion which may cause a big eruption.

“Ang mga sususunod na pangyayari kailangan pang subaybayan ng mabuti kasi kung meron pang umakyat na magma na maraming gas at hindi nakakalabas ay posibleng tumuloy sa mas malakas-lakas na pagsabog. 'Yun po ang ating scenario at batay na rin sa ating monitoring. Kung sakali man ay sana parang fireworks lang ng konti at lava lang ang lumabas. 'Pag ganun ang sitwasyon mas maigi po 'yan sa ating mga kababayan," he said.

(We are still monitoring Taal because if magma is still rising and there’s a lot of trapped gas, it could possibly lead to a much bigger explosion. That is our scenario and also based on our monitoring. If that happens, we're hoping it would just be like fireworks and not much lava flow. If that is the situation, then it would be good for our people.) 

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Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that 259 individuals have been evacuated so far and are now under the care of their respective local government units.

"So far po ang mga na-evacuate nating mga kababayan, 172 individuals ang nag-stay ngayon sa apat na evacuation center sa Batangas province, tapos 87 naman na katao ang nag-evacuate pero tumuloy sa mga kamag-anakan nila in other places," said Timbal.

(So far we have evacuated 172 individuals who are now staying in 4 evacuation centers in Batangas province and 87 other who decided to stay with their relatives in other places.)

Timbal said the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided additional tents to evacuees in the town of Laurel to ensure that physical distancing is observed in the evacuation center.

He said they have not yet reached the point of conducting forced evacuation because residents are cooperative and heeded the advice to evacuate.

He assured the public that there are enough evacuation centers for affected residents.

Supplies are likewise intact and ready for deployment should the LGUs need additional help.