Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 3

January 30, 2020

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 3 despite fewer volcanic earthquakes being recorded and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission “below instrumental detection” or too low to be detected.

Alert Level 3 means sudden steam-driven and weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall, and lethal volcanic gas expulsions may still occur in areas within Taal Volcano Island and nearby lake shores.

For the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded seven volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes 1.7 to 2.5 and with no felt intensities.

However, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes, recorded two low-frequency earthquakes and one harmonic tremor that lasted for 97 seconds.

“These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the main crater,” Phivolcs said in its bulletin on Thursday.

Weak emission of white to dirty white plumes 300-500 meters tall had been observed.

Since Taal Volcano eruption on January 12, this was the second time that Phivolcs announced a below instrumental detection sulfur dioxide emission. The first was last Tuesday.

Sulfur dioxide emission announced on Wednesday had an average of 64 tonnes per day.

Phivolcs reiterates that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, as well as into areas near Taal Lake, and communities west of the island within a 7-kilometer radius from the main crater are still strictly prohibited.              PNA