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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Philippines Taal Volcano Eruption: Evacuations As Ongoing Eruption Spews Ash

Residents have been evacuated after volcanic activity at the Taal Volcano began to increase. A “phreatic explosion” spewed ash as high as 100 metres into the sky and three earthquakes have been recorded and related to the volcano.

A phreatic explosion or a steam-driven episode occurs when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or new volcanic deposits.

Since 1pm Sunday local time (4am GMT), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the volcano has manifested "increased steaming activity in at least 5 spots inside the main crater" and is ongoing.

Image: Renz Lejarso Guevara

PHIVOLCSalso released an update raising the alert status of the volcano.

They wrote: “This serves as notice for the raising of the alert status of Taal from Alert Level 2 (increasing unrest) to Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest).”

PHIVOLCS has five volcano alert levels, five being the highest.

Taal Volcano is located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines and is what is known as a complex volcano.

Taal Volcano Eruption

Taal Volcano Eruption

Taal Volcano Eruption

It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with a total of 34 historical eruptions.

National disaster risk reduction spokesman Mark Timbal said the municipalities of Balete, San Nicolas and Talisay in Batangas have been evacuated as a precaution.

PHIVOLCS writes in their latest advisory: “PHIVOLCS strongly recommends Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas be evacuated due to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

“The public is reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel is prohibited.

“In addition, communities around the Taal Lake shore are advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lake water disturbances related to the ongoing unrest.”

Taal Volcano Eruption

PHIVOLCS officer-in-charge Renato Soldium told CNN Philippines: "Magma is intruding from below.

" If eventually, this will continue to move up, then there can be a magmatic eruption which is more dangerous.

"The volcano is inside a bigger crater or basin or bowl, which is why people would have to evacuate horizontally and away from the crater.

"There is water that would be hindering the rapid evacuation and that is why people need to get out of the island as soon as possible."

PHIVOLCS has recorded “moderate to high level of seismic activity” at Taal volcano since March 28, 2019 with weak earthquakes occurring across Batangas.

[ By Daily and Sunday Express ]

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