Taal continues weak steam emission; Alert Level 3 still up
By Lilybeth Ison
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Monday said activity in the main crater of Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours has been characterized by weak to moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes 50 to 800 meters high that drifted northeast.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 87 tonnes/day. The Taal Volcano Network recorded 170 volcanic earthquakes including four low-frequency earthquakes.
Alert Level 3 is maintained over Taal Volcano.
Phivolcs, however, reminded the public that despite the lowering of alert level, sudden steam-driven and even weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall, and lethal volcanic gas expulsions can still occur and threaten areas within Taal Volcano Island and nearby lakeshores.
It recommends that entry into the Taal Volcano Island as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a seven kilometers radius from the main crater must be strictly prohibited.
Local government units were also advised to assess areas outside the seven-kilometer radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.
People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall, and minor earthquakes.
Phivolcs also advised communities beside active river channels, particularly where ash from the main eruption phase has been thickly deposited to increase vigilance when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall since the ash can be washed away and form lahars along the channels. (PNA)