Taal Volcano may erupt says Phivolcs

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) on Saturday found out that seismic activity in Taal Volcano continues to worsen, prompting them to issue a notice for the raising of the Alert status from Level 1 to Level 2.

PHIVOLCS said the monitored parameters have shown significant changes as indicated by the following observations:
  • The number of volcanic earthquakes detected gradually rose and the depths of the plotted quakes are becoming shallow, from 1 to 4 kilometers. There is also an increase in the number of perceptible quakes. During the past 24 hours, two (2) quakes were felt at the Volcano Island with Intensities ranging from 2-3 and one of them was accompanied by rumbling sounds. Twenty-one (21) volcanic quakes were detected by the seismic network for the past 24 hours.
  • Gas measurements conducted at Taal Main Crater Lake yielded carbon dioxide emission flux of 1,875 tonnes per day in February 2011 and 4,670 t/d during the last week of March 2011. The remarkable increase in carbon dioxide concentration indicates its release from the magma at depth.
  • Result of the ground deformation survey conducted around the Volcano Island this week showed that volcano edifice is still inflated as compared with the February 2011 survey.
  • Steaming activities at the northern and northeast sides of the Main Crater occasionally intensified. Sometimes, intensification of steaming activity is accompanied by audible hissing sounds.
With the alert status at second level, PHIVOLCS said the present activities could eventually lead to an eruption.

The agency advised the public that the Main Crater, Daang Kastila Trail and Mt. Tabaro are now strictly off-limits.

“Sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate,” PHIVOLCS warned, with an explanation that “breathing air with high concentration of gases can be lethal to humans, animals and can even cause damage to vegetation.”

The institute, which operates under the Department of Science and Technology, added that the entire volcano island is a “permanent danger zone” and that permanent settlement there is “strictly not recommended.”

Taal Volcano is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.