MANILA — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Monday downgraded Taal Volcano from Alert 2 to 1, which meant it was showing a "low level" of unrest.
In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs said that Taal recorded a decline in daily average of volcanic earthquakes from 7 a day between Jan. 1 and May 31 down to zero since June 13. The agency said it also observed "stabilizing ground deformation" and decreased volcanic gas emissions.
But Phivolcs clarified that the lowest level in its 5-step warning system meant that the volcano was "still in abnormal condition." It "should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared," said state volcanologists.
"Should an uptrend or pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn of renewed unrest, the Alert Level may be raised back to Alert Level 2," Phivolcs said.
It also advised local government units near the volcano to continuously assess previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake for damage and road accessibility, and strengthen preparedness in case of renewed unrest.
The last significant activities from Taal were recorded on Feb. 10 and March 26, when it spewed 300- and 3,000-meter tall steam-rich plumes, respectively, said Phivolcs.
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