Taal Volcano continued degassing on Monday, and 17 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said.
In its 8 a.m. bulletin, PHIVOLCS said 16 low frequency volcanic earthquakes as well as low-level background tremor were also observed.
On Sunday, the volcano's sulfur dioxide emission reached 22,628 tonnes/day.
The Taal Volcano Observatory said that at 5 a.m. on Monday, the volcano emitted a steam-driven plume reaching as high as 2,500 meters, according to a report by James Agustin on Unang Balita.
The plume went up in a tall column since the winds were not that strong.
This is still part of the degassing or gas upwelling which was the volcano's activity overnight, the Taal Volcano Observatory added.
At the crater, the pH level was at 1.59 on February 12, and the temperature was at 71.8ºC on March 4.
The surface of Taal Volcano Island continues to deflate based on PHIVOLCS' monitoring.
Alert Level 3 remains in effect over Taal Volcano on Monday, PHIVOLCS said.
"At Alert Level 3, magma extruding from the Main Crater could drive explosive eruption," it said.
"Posible pong magkaroon ng mga pagsabog katulad ng pinakita noong July 1 ng hapon," PHIVOLCS Director and Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. said in an interview on Unang Balita on Monday.
(It is possible for the volcano to erupt similar to what happened in the afternoon of July 1.)
Solidum said this is due to the high level of sulfur dioxide emitted, similar to the situation before the July 1 eruption.
The magma is moving up slowly at this time, unlike the fast movement of magma in January 2020, he said.
Still, precautions should be taken, Solidum said.
"Kahit hindi kasing lakas ng scale ng January 2020, ito ay sa unang aktibidad, first phase of kasalukuyang activity. Pero 'yung pagsabog niya na phreatomagmatic, puwedeng magdulot ng pyroclastic density current. At dahil maikli lang ang tatawirin between the southwest side ng island at ilang barangay ng Agoncillo at Laurel ay puwedeng umabot kung sakali ang pyroclastic density current diyan sa kanilang lugar," he said.
(Even if the current situation is not on the same scale as January 2020, this is just the first phase of the current activity. But a phreatomagmatic eruption can bring pyroclastic density current. And since the distance between the southwest side of the island and some barangays in Agoncillo and Laurel is not that far, the pyroclastic density current may reach these areas.)
This is why PHIVOLCS recommended evacuation of residents in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas, Solidum said.
Taal Volcano Island, nearby areas
PHIVOLCS reminded the public that entry into Taal Volcano Island is prohibited as it is a Permanent Danger Zone.
Likewise, entry into high-risk barangays in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas must be prohibited, PHIVOLCS said, "due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur."
Activities on Taal Lake should also not be allowed, it added.
Meanwhile, communities by the shores of Taal Lake should be on the alert, take the necessary precautions against airborne ash and vog, and prepare for evacuation if needed.
PHIVOLCS also reminded pilots not to fly over Taal Volcano Island as doing so would pose hazards to aircraft. —KG, GMA News