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PHIVOLCS – Latest Update On 8 AM January 21, 2020

PHIVOLCS – Here are the latest updates on Taal Volcano from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on 8 AM January 21.

Image from: Phivolcs-DOST

The institute’s 8 AM bulletin states that activity in the main crater has been characterized by “weak steam emission that generated ash plumes 500-600 meters tall and dispersed ash southwest of the main Crater”.

Emmision of Sulfur dioxide (SO2) was measured at an average of 344 tonnes per day. This is lower than yesterday’s recorded average of 4,353 tons per day.

Sulfur dioxide emission indicates the upward movement of magma to the surface.

The Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) recorded 5 earthquakes as of 5 AM on January 20 to 5 AM January 21, with magnitudes 1.6 to 2.5 with no felt event.

This brings to a total of 718 volcanic earthquakes ever since the initial eruption of Taal Volcano on January 12, 2020. 176 of these tremors were at magnitudes 1.2 to 4.1 felt at Intensities I – V.

The Taal Volcano Network, on the other hand, recorded at about 448 volcanic earthquakes including seventeen 17 low-frequency earthquakes.

Low-frequency earthquakes, as defined by the United States Geological Survey, are caused by cracks resonating as magma and gases move toward the surface.

“They are often seen prior to volcanic eruptions, but their occurrence is also part of the normal background seismicity at some volcanoes and their occurrence does not necessarily indicate that an eruption is imminent.”

As per the bulletin, Alert Level 4 is still hoisted over the volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

The institute reiterated the total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km radius from Taal Main Crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed.

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