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PHIVOLCS: Taal vog not a sign of an imminent eruption

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday said that the vog seen in Taal is not a sign that the volcano may soon erupt. 

“For Taal Volcano, yung vog na nakita, naobserve natin these past few days, would that trigger an eruption? Hindi po, kasi yung eruption would be a combination of different factors," said Phivolcs Director Dr. Teresito Bacolcol.

The situation in the province of Batangas has also improved as fewer amounts of volcanic fog or vog caused by Taal Volcano’s activity have been observed, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMO)

"We have to look at the seismicity. Ngayon, for the past 4 days, wala po tayong lindol na narecord sa Taal Volcano. Zero volcanic earthquakes,” added Bacolcol.

A total of 691 individuals based in the province of Batangas have been affected by the volcanic fog or vog caused by Taal Volcano’s activity, according to the Department of Health.

:Big One"

Meanwhile, Bacolcol said that a powerful quake, or "the big one," from the West Valley Fault may trigger Taal to erupt.

But he said that this may not happen at least until 2058, as the West Valley Fault moved every 400 to 600 years, and its last movement was recorded in 1658.

“Give or take several decades because it’s not an exact science, and syempre may uncertainty yan. That’s the reason why we’re saying na we’re ripe for the big one,” explained Bacolcol said.

“As we go closer to the lower limit which is 2058, the probability of having another magnitude 7.2 earthquake would become higher,” he added.

The PHILVOLCS director also assured that there was no need to panic as they have not been picking up any eruption indicators from Taal Volcano as of now.

Bacolcol also said that people are more prepared for the impact of the “big one” now than they were 20 to 30 years ago.

“Malaking tulong ang quarterly earthquake drill sa kamalayan ng ating mga kababayan when it comes to earthquakes,” he said.

IIn 2013, PHILVOLCS released a study stating that an estimated 48,000 deaths will occur in Metro Manila and other neighboring provinces during the "big one" with over 110,000 injured individuals. —Jiselle Anne Casucian/ VAL, GMA Integrated News