Alert Level 2 raised over Taal Volcano amid ‘increasing unrest’

Marje Pelayo   •   March 9, 2021   •   648

MANILA, Philippines – Alert Level 2 has been raised over Taal Volcano on Tuesday (March 9) amid “increasing unrest.”

In its latest bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that a total of 28 volcanic tremor episodes, four low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and one hybrid earthquake  at shallow depths of less than 1.5 kilometers beneath Taal Volcano Island were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Also, volcanic tremors have increased seismic energy compared to previously recorded episodes and ranged between three to 17 minutes in duration. 

“The total number of volcanic tremor events has risen to 866 since the onset of increased activity on February 13,” PHIVOLCS said.

“In addition to these, a total of 141 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes have occurred within one kilometer depths beneath the volcano island and immediate vicinity,” it added.

The agency said seismic activity in the past month indicates increased magmatic and hydrothermal activity at shallow depths beneath the volcano island.

This means there is probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption, the agency noted.

With this development, the PHIVOLCS stressed that entry into Taal Volcano Island remains strictly prohibited as it is considered a permanent danger zone. 

Evacuation, however, is not yet recommended, the agency said,

Magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocks Occidental Mindoro

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked Occidental Mindoro at around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday (May 12).

According to the report from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the center of the quake was located at Abra de Ilog.

It was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 110 kilometers.

The agency recorded the following instrumental intensities as a result of the earthquake:

Intensity V – Calatagan, Batangas

Intensity IV – Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Intensity III – Carmona, Tagaytay City, Cavite; Muntinlupa, Metro Manila; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro

Intensity II – Calumpit, Marilao, Plaridel, Bulacan; Las Piñas, Malabon, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, Metro Manila; Dolores, Gumaca, Mulanay, Quezon Province;
Olongapo City, Zambales

Intensity I – San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Guagua, Pampanga; Infanta, Lopez, Polillo, Quezon Province

Alert Level 1 raised over Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised alert status from zero to 1 over Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon after recording more than 100 volcanic earthquakes in the past four days.

Alert Level 1 means that the volcano is currently in an “abnormal condition.”

According to the agency, the volcano has been exhibiting increased unrest after a total of 124 volcanic tremors recorded since Saturday (May 8) as well as sustained inflation based on ground deformation measurements.

“These parameters indicate that volcanic processes are underway beneath the edifice that are likely caused by shallow hydrothermal activity,” the agency said in an advisory posted on its website.

Phivolcs reminded local government units and the public that entry into the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone must be strictly prohibited.

Also, vigilance in the two-kilometer extended danger zone on the southeast sector must be exercised due to the increased possibility of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions.

“People living within the valleys and along river/stream channels especially on the southeast, southwest and northwest sector of the edifice should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall,” the agency warned.

383 volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday maintained Alert level 2 over Taal Volcano as it recorded 383 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

Based on the latest bulletin, upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake occurred Tuesday morning (April 13) and 383 volcanic earthquakes, including 238 episodes of volcanic tremor lasting from one to 12 minutes occurred in the past 24 hours.

Phivolcs also said it continues to observe “a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption.”

The agency reminds local government units around the area to be vigilant and continuously assess the situation. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders,” the bulletin said. AAC

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