Tuesday 21 January 2020

Taal Volcano Update No 5: Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano: 718 quakes since Jan 12: Hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days

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TAAL VOLCANO BULLETIN 21 January 2020 8:00 A.M.

Activity in the Main Crater in the past 24 hours has been characterized by weak steam emission that generated ash plumes 500-600 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest of the main Crater. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 344 tonnes/day. The Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) plotted a total of seven hundred eighteen (718) volcanic earthquakes since 1:00 PM, January 12, 2020. One hundred seventy-six (176) of these registered at magnitudes M1.2 – M4.1 and were felt at Intensities I – V. Since 5:00 AM on January 20, 2020, until 5:00 AM today, there were five (5) volcanic earthquakes plotted, registered at magnitudes M1.6-M2.5 with no felt event. For the past 24 hours, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded four hundred forty-eight (448) volcanic earthquakes including seventeen (17) low-frequency earthquakes.

Such intense seismic activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity. Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly 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.

Based on PAGASA wind forecast, if the eruption plume remains at 3.0 km or below, ash may be drifted to the municipalities south, southwest, west and northwest of Taal Volcano; if the eruption plume is between 3.0 and 5.0 km, ash may also be drifted to some towns of Cavite and western Laguna. However, if a major eruption occurs within the forecast period and the eruption column exceeds 5.0 km, ash may also be drifted over Metro Manila and parts of Laguna, Rizal, Marinduque and Quezon provinces.

Residents around the volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments.

Volcano Eruptions 2020

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