Taal Volcano status lowered to Alert level 2 – Phivolcs

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020   •   547

Aerial photos Taal Volcano eruption aftermath epa08135676 Handout aerial photo provided by the Office of Civil Defense shows the Taal Volcano crater in Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines, 17 January 2020. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has kept the alert level at four, following the volcano’s eruption on 12 January 2020. EPA-EFE/OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday downgraded Taal Volcano’s status from alert level 3 to alert level 2 following indications of decreased unrest in the recent weeks.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said it lowered the alert level status of Taal Volcano after three weeks due to less frequent volcanic activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and Taal Volcano Island edifices, and weak steam or gas emissions at the Main crater.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” it said.

Alert Level 2 means there is decreased unrest, but State volcanologists said this should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.

The agency also reminds the public that at alert level 2, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the volcano island and its coast.

It also advised that entry to the Taal Volcano Island – a permanent danger zone – shall remain prohibited.

“Local government units are advised to additionally assess previously evacuated areas within the seven-kilometer radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest,” Phivolcs said.

“People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall, and minor earthquakes. Communities beside active river channels particularly where ash from the main eruption phase has been thickly deposited should increase vigilance when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall since the ash can be washed away and form lahars along the channels,” it added.

Civil aviation authorities are also advised to direct pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.

Phivolcs said alert level 3 may be raised again should an uptrend or pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn a potential eruption.

On January 12, Taal Volcano spewed kilometers-high ash plumes which prompted state volcanologists to raise its status to alert level 4. Thousands of residents within the 14-kilometer radius from the main crater were ordered to flee their homes due to a possible hazardous eruption.

Two weeks later, Phivolcs downgraded Taal’s status to alert level 3, which allowed displaced residents outside the seven-kilometer danger zone to return to their homes.

Mt. Kanlaon possible to generate a major eruption – PHIVOLCS

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island is one of the most active volcanoes in the country similar to Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales, Mt. Mayon in Albay, Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon, and Mt. Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin Island. 

Based on the observation of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the volcano has recorded abnormal activities especially last Sunday (June 21) and Monday (June 22).

Earthquakes have been felt as the volcano spewed ashes.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum explained these activities may be attributed to an existing fault.

They are now observing if the tremors will move under the summit.

“Itong pagkilos ng fault ay posibleng sanhi dahil sa pag pressurize ng lugar sa Kanlaon volcano ng hydrothermal fluids o pagpapakulo ng tubig o di kaya ay mas malalim pang magmatic activity,” Solidum noted.

Most of the Kanlaon’s explosions were phreatic, the agency observed.

Based on studies of rock samples from the volcano, its last lava episode was in the early 1900’s.

In the 1996 eruption, three persons who went up the volcano died.

Usec. Solidum said Mt. Kanlaon is not comparable with the Taal Volcano when it comes to activities, though a major eruption is possible.

Alert Level 1 has been raised over Mt Kanlaon since March this year.

“Kung ang tanong mo ay mabilis yung escalation, wala tayong nakikitang ganung history sa Kanlaon based on record history (We didn’t have any record of rapid escalation based on Kanlaon’s record in history),” Solidum said. 

“Pero yung posibilidad ng magkaroon ng mas malakas na eruption ay nandoon katulad ng Mayon Volcano; not Taal Volcano, hindi naman sila pareho ng setting (But there is the possibility of a major eruption like with Mount Mayon, but unlike Taal Volcano. Their settings are different),” he added.

PHIVOLCS warned that entering the four-kilometer permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Mga residente sa La Carlota City sa Negros, pinaghahanda na sa gitna ng pag-aalboroto ng Mt. Kanlaon

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2020

Inihahanda na ng pamahalaan ng La Carlota City sa Negros Occidental ang disaster management plan na ipatutupad sakaling lumala ang ipinakikitang abnormalidad ng Mount Kanlaon.

Ayon kay La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on, nakapaloob sa kanilang plano ang pagtukoy sa mga barangay na lubos na maapektuhan at kailangang ilikas sakaling sumabog ang bulkan o kaya ay mas tumindi pa ang nararanasang pagyanig sa paligid ng bulkan.

Nakapaloob rin sa disaster management plan ang gagamiting logistics, transportation at available resources, pati na ang positioning ng food packs at mga lugar na maaaring gamiting temporary shelter ng mga ililikas na residente.

Tiniyak rin ni Jalando-on na mayroong P10 milyong quick response fund na maaaring gamitin ang lokal na pamahalaan.

Nagsasagawa na rin sila ng kampanya upang paalalahanan ang mga residente na maghanda at maging alerto sa gitna ng nararanasang pagyanig sa kanilang lungsod.

May gagawin ring drill upang malaman ng mga residente ang mga dapat gawin kapag nakaranas ng malakas na lindol o kaya ay sumabog ang bulkan.

Sa ulat ng Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Martes ng umaga, nasa 104 volcanic-tectonic earthquakes ang naitala sa Mount Kanlaon.

Bahagya ring humina ang inilalabas na puting usok ng bulkan na umabot sa taas na 300 metro.

Iniulat rin ng PHIVOLCS ang patuloy na deflation sa ibabang bahagi ng bulkan at inflation o paglobo naman sa gitnang dalisdis na nangangahulugan umano ng hydrothermal o magmatic activity sa ilalim ng lupa.

Muli ring nagpa-alala ang ahensiya na nasa alert level 1 ang Mount Kanlaon na ang ibig sabihin ay nagpapakita ito ng abnormal na aktibidad at nasa “period of unrest.”

Naka-deklarang permanent danger zone ang four-kilometer radius ng bulkan at ipinagbabawal ang pagpasok rito ng mga tao.

Sakop naman ng eight-kilometer radius ng bulkan ang mga Barangay ng Ara-ala at Yubo kaya’t mahigpit itong binabantayan ng lokal na pamahalaan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)

Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert to level 1

UNTV News   •   March 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said it has downgraded the alert on Taal Volcano to level 1 following the decrease in volcanic quakes and surface activity at the main crater.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding four weeks after its alert was lowered to level 2, has been characterized by low-level volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and the Taal Volcano Island edifices, and weak surface activity at the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” its bulletin reads.

State volcanologists said that alert level 1 means that the volcano is still in “abnormal condition,” and that this “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.”

Under alert level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.

The alert level may be raised back to alert level 2 “should pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn of renewed unrest,” Phivolcs said.

The agency reminded residents that entry to Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, remains strictly prohibited. 

The Taal Volcano was placed under alert level 4 when it spewed ash on January 12 which sent thousands of residents to temporary shelters and disrupted businesses in surrounding areas.

It was later lowered to alert level 2 several weeks later due to decreased unrest. — ROBIE DE GUZMAN

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