Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum said the Taal Vocano in Batangas spewed ashes in phreatic eruption on Sunday morning due to hydro-thermal activities.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Undersecretary Solidum said that a phreatic eruption was recorded at around 11:00 a.m.
“Nagkaroon nga ng unang maliit na pagsabog na 20 to 30 meters. Ito ay related sa hydrothermal activity…phreatic eruption,” he said.
After three hours, a stronger explosion was recorded around 2:00 p.m. The volcano spewed a kilometer-tall of ash column.
“Pero kanina mga pasadong 2 p.m., nagkaroon ng mas malakaing activity na nagresulta sa isang eruption flumes. Siyempre, itanataas pa ito ng hangin,” he added.
Taal Volcano's last major eruption happened almost 43 years ago on October 3, 1977.
“Wala pa tayong nakikita talagang ebidensiya na may magma, pero dahil malalalim ang lindol na ating nakikita until Friday, even several days,” Solidum said.
From Alert Level 1, the alert status of Taal was raised to Alert Level 2. “This means that there is probable magmatic intrusion that may or may not lead to an eruption,” PHIOVOLCS said.
Also, PHIVOLCS said three earthquakes were felt around 07:35 a.m., 10: 43 a.m., and 14:00 p.m.
“A seismic swarm has started at around 11:00 a.m. and ongoing as of 2:10 p.m..” it added.
Since 28 March 2019, PHIVOLCS said Taal volcano seismic network has manifested moderate to high level of seismic activity which were felt from Intensity 1 and Intensity 3 in the following areas:
- Sitio Tibag
- San Nicolas
PHIVOLCS reminded the public that the main crater should be strictly off-limits because sudden steam explosions can occur and high concentrations of lethal volcanic gases can be released.
“The northern portion of the Main Crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, can also become hazardous when fumarolic or degassing activity along existing fissures suddenly increases,” it said.
Furthermore, "the public is also reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strongly not recommended.”
In light of the ongoing phreatic activity in the main crater, PHIVOLCS advises precautionary evacuation of Taal Volcano Island pending observation of the volcano’s condition within the next 48 hours.
Batangas provincial disaster management officials have already ordered preemptive evacuation of residents around the volcano. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News