Taal Volcano lull before big bang?

January 14, 2020
A man looks at a crack fearing it might run all the way to his house and damage it. Photo courtesy of RaffyTima/Twitter

THE country’s head seismologist yesterday warned danger is not over as Taal volcano appeared to calm down Monday night through yesterday.

Lulled into a false sense of security some people are going back to their homes around the volcano, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum noted.

“Puwedeng masabi ninyo na mas mahina ‘yung nangyayari at minsan ay nagiging false sense of security kaya pumupunta ‘yung ibang tao at bumabalik. Hindi ‘yan ang basehan namin bakit namin itinaas ang alert level 4,” he told reporters at a press briefing in Malacañang.

The alert level 4 hoisted over Taal could be raised to level 5 anytime since a “hazardous” eruption could occur in the next “hours or days,” Solidum said.

Thousands have fled their homes since Sunday as the volcano spewed ash over Southern Tagalog provinces, reaching as far as Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

“We need the cooperation of everyone. ‘Yung scenario ng hazardous explosive eruption is a real scenario. That has been exhibited by Taal Volcano,” Solidum said.

Solidum said the calmer appearance of Taal is misleading as indicated by the continuing movement of earth felt by people and the cracks or fissures that have appeared on the ground and roads. This means magma is growing in volume which could precipitate a “hazardous” eruption or level 5 eruption.

“Ibig sabihin, umaakyat ‘yung volume ng magma na puwede pa mag-supply doon sa eruption ng Taal,” he said.

Fissures were reported in the towns of Agoncillo and Lemery in Batangas, two towns in close proximity to the volcano.

Taal is capable of a very violent eruption as its history shows. The volcano erupted in 1911 killing 1,335 people.