Taal status lowered to alert level 3

THE PHILIPPINE Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has lowered Taal Volcano's status from alert level 4 to alert level 3 Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Alert level 3 indicates a "decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption."

State volcanologists have observed a decline in volcanic earthquake, decelerated ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Volcano Island, and weak steam or gas emissions at the Main Crater.

However, Phivolcs said that the lowering of the alert status "should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared."

The alert level may be raised back to alert level 4 if there is an uptrend or pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn a potential hazardous explosive eruption.

Phivolcs added if there is a persistent downtrend in monitored parameters, the alert level may be further lowered to alert level 2.

Entry to the Volcano Island, Taal's permanent danger zone, as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the Volcano Island within seven-kilometer radius from the Main Crater is prohibited.

Phivolcs has advised local government units 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. (CLC/SunStar Philippines)