Alert level 5 possible – Phivolcs

January 13, 2020

THE Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) yesterday warned of more hazardous eruption as it advised residents near the lakeshores of Taal Volcano to consider evacuation as a must while the government is bracing for activities that calls for Alert Level 5.

According to Phivolcs, a volcanic tsunami is possible under alert level 5 thus the need for lakeshore residents to leave their homes for security and safety.

Phivolcs said that a volcanic tsunami may occur in caldera lakes when water is displaced by deformation of the lake floor caused by rising magma.

As of yesterday morning, Alert Level 4 remained in effect over Taal Volcano, meaning hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

Phivolcs strongly reiterated a total evacuation in the Taal Island and areas it identified as high risks to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal main crater.

As of 8 a.m. yesterday, Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano entered a period of intense unrest which started with phreatic or steam-driven activity in several points inside the main crater.

From that point of activity, it progressed into magmatic eruption around 2 p.m. which is characterized by weak lava functioning accompanied by thunder and flashes of lighting.

In its advisory, Phivolcs said that it recorded a total of 75 volcanic earthquakes in Taal region as of 5:00 a.m. yesterday while 32 of these tremors were felt with intensities ranging from II - V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao, Laguna, Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan, Batangas. Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.