A total of 11 volcanic earthquakes in Taal Volcano has been recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in the past 24 hours, maintaining its alert level 1 status. 

Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. bulletin on Wednesday that “weak to moderate steaming of fumarolic activity” rising 20 meters high before diving northwest and southwest was observed from vents of Taal’s main crater.

Alert level 1 indicates sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.

Meanwhile, the Taal Volcano Network has posted 8 volcanic earthquakes around the volcano from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly recommends that entry into TVI, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited,” Phivolcs said.

Continuous assessment of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake are being examined by the local government units for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency, and communication measures in case of unexpected explosion.  

Residents are also encouraged to strictly observe safety precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes.

Phivolcs also recommended civil aviation authorities to notify pilots not to fly close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft. 

On January 12, Phivolcs raised Alert level 4 after Taal spewed hazardous ashes forcing local residents around the area to evacuate. The alert level was lowered to level 1 on March 19 after its activity ceased. RJ Espartinez