Phivolcs: Taal volcanic activity continues to wane but not enough to lower alert level

Aileen Cerrudo

The volcanic activity in Taal continues to wane, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

However, it is still not enough basis to lower the alert level in the region.

Phivolcs’ findings show that the amount of sulfur oxide or ashes emitted by Taal Volcano decreased from 4,000 tonnes per day to 153 tonnes. There is also a decrease in the frequency of volcanic earthquakes.

“Itong mga earthquakes na ito ay unti-unti na silang nag-diminish pati iyong mga low frequency events pero hindi ibig sabihin ay kampante na tayo (These earthquakes are slowly diminishing, even the low-frequency events. But this does not mean we can be lax about it),” according to Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD) Chief Ma. Antonia Bornas.

The agency said the decreased emission can mean the ashes are blocked by the hardened magma in the volcano’s crater. This could also mean a high activity of magma inside the volcano which can prompt a huge eruption at any time.

If the waning of volcanic activity continues in the succeeding days, Phivolcs said they might lower the alert in the Taal region to level 3.

“Ibababa po naman po natin ang alert level after masiguro po natin ang probabilities for an eruption ay mababa na (We will lower the alert level after we assure that all probabilities of eruption are low),” Bornas added.

However, residents are still not allowed to return to their homes even if alert level 3 has been announced by Phivolcs.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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