Taal alert level lowered to 2

Credit to Author: Franz Lewin Embudo| Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 17:54:06 +0000

THE status of Taal Volcano was downgraded from alert level 3 to alert level 2, which signifies “decreased unrest,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Friday.

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Taal Volcano. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

“Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding three weeks has been characterized by less frequent volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Taal Volcano Island (TVI) edifices and weak steam/gas emissions at the main crater,” it said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.

The state seismology agency, however, said Taal Volcano’s status should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.

It reminded the public that at alert level 2, “sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within TVI and along its coast.”

The Phivolcs said the number and energy of tremor and low frequency events associated with activity in the shallow magma and hydrothermal region beneath the TVI edifice has diminished.

“These parameters are consistent with degassing ponded magma rather than active magma transport to and from the shallow magma reservoir beneath TVI,” it added.

The overall ground deformation behavior of Taal Volcano indicates post-eruptive subsidence and relaxation of the edifice after the cessation of magma transport, experts said.

The Phivolcs cited the “overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters” as the reason why Taal Volcano’s status was downgraded to alert level 2.

Volcanologists said the alert level might be raised back to alert level 3 if they monitor a change in parameters and if a potential eruption can occur.

They still advised people residing within high-risk areas to prepare for a quick and organized evacuation.

If persistent downtrend in monitored parameters after a sufficient observation period is noted, the alert level will be further lowered to alert level 1, the Phivolcs said.

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