The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said the activity in the main crater of Taal Volcano for the past 24 hours has been characterized by “weak to moderate” emission of white steam-laden plumes 50 to 500 meters high.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 141 tonnes per day.
However, Phivolcs said Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.
The Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN), recorded 467 volcanic earthquakes including eight low-frequency earthquakes for the past 24 hours.
Phivolcs said such intense activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.
Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) wind forecast, if the eruption plume remains below five kilometers, ash will drift to the municipalities west and northwest of the main crater.
However, if a major eruption occurs during the day and the eruption column exceeds seven kilometers, ash will also drift over some parts of Laguna and Quezon provinces.
As such, residents around the volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.
Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft.
Phivolcs reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km. radius from Taal main crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed. (PNA)