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99 volcanic quakes recorded in Taal Volcano; Alert Level 3 still in effect

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A total of 99 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the past 24 hours in Taal Volcano, according to a bulletin of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLS) on Saturday.

These include 90 volcanic tremor events lasting from one to 11 minutes, and nine low frequency volcanic earthquakes. The low-level background tremor which has persisted since July 7 was also observed.

Taal Volcano continues to emit high levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2). The SO2 emission averaged 6,574 tonnes on Friday.

Meanwhile, steam-rich plumes rose 1,200 meters from the crater before drifting north and northeast.

PHIVOLCS said Taal Volcano Island has been deflating since April 2021 while the Taal Region is undergoing very slow extension since 2020.

Due to these, Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) remains in effect over Taal Volcano.

"At Alert Level 3, magma extruding from the Main Crater could drive explosive eruption," PHIVOLCS said.

It issued a reminder to the public to keep away from Taal Volcano Island as it is a Permanent Danger Zone.

Likewise, entry into high-risk barangays in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas should be barred, PHVIVOLCS said, "due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur."

"All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time," it added.

PHIVOLCS also advised lakeshore communities around Taal Lake to be vigilant, take the necessary precautions against possible airborne ash and vog, and prepare for evacuation in case the volcanic activities intensify.

Pilots should avoid flying over Taal Volcano Island, PHIVOLCS said, due to possible damage to aircraft from airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and pyroclastic density currents such as base surges. —KG, GMA News

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