The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced on Wednesday that it has detected 51 earthquakes in its monitoring of the Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours.
With the development, Phivolcs has retained the alert level 2 status — which means “increased unrest” — on one of the country’s most active volcanoes.
In the agency’s latest bulletin on Wednesday morning, 41 of the recorded shaking are “episodes of volcanic tremor having durations of one to four minutes and the activity at the Main Crater consisted of weak emission of steam-laden plumes from fumarolic vents that rose five meters high.
The seismology agency also disclosed that temperature highs of 71.8 degree Celsius and pH of 1.59 were measured from the main crater lake on 12 February and 4 March, respectively.
It added that “ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS (Global Positioning System) and InSAR (Interferometric synthetic aperture radar) data analysis indicated a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region since after the January 2020 eruption.”
Phivolcs said that under alert level 2, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).
“DoST-Phivolcs strongly recommends that entry into TVI, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited,” the agency noted.
Phivolcs likewsie advised local government units to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.
State volcanologists raised the status of Taal Volcano to alert level 2 more than a year after its last phreatic eruption in January 2020.
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