WATCH: Taal Volcano erupts; PHIVOLCS raises alert level 2, evacuation ordered

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has raised the alert status of Taal Volcano to Level 2 following the phreatic eruption.

Taal Volcano at Alert Level 2 status
Taal Volcano at Alert Level 2 status. Image by Tagaytay CDRRMO.

PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum has stated that Taal Volcano in Batangas has started spewing ashes on Sunday morning. They explained that the phreatic eruption was due to the volcano’s hydro-thermal activities.


From PHIVOLCS’ camera monitoring, eruption was recorded at around 11:00 a.m. After three hours, the volcano released a stronger explosion spewing a kilometer-tall of ash column at around 2:00 pm. They also noted six earthquakes since 1:00 p.m. within Batangas province.

Director Solidum explained, “Nagkaroon nga ng unang maliit na pagsabog na 20 to 30 meters. Ito ay related sa hydrothermal activity…phreatic eruption. Pero kanina mga pasadong 2:00 p.m., nagkaroon ng mas malakaing activity na nagresulta sa isang eruption flumes. Siyempre, itanataas pa ito ng hangin.”

According to PHIVOLCS’ latest bulletin at 2:30 p.m., Sunday the following have been observed:

Visual Observation: Increased steaming activity in at least five spots inside the Main Crater has been observed at around 1300H today with the largest activity comprised by a phreatic explosion that generated a plume approximately 100 meters high. This activity is still ongoing as of this issuance.

Volcanic Earthquake Activity: Since 28 March 2019, Taal volcano seismic network has manifested moderate to high level of seismic activity. Some of these earthquakes were felt with intensity ranging from Intensity I (Scarcely Perceptible) to Intensity III (Weak Shaking) in the barangays of Calauit, Balete, Sitio Tibag, Pira-Piraso, and Buco, Talisay, Alas-as and Pulangbato, San Nicolas, Batangas. Often, these felt earthquakes are accompanied by rumbling sounds. Today, three felt earthquake events were recorded at 0735H, 1043H and 1400H. A seismic swarm has started at around 1100H and ongoing as of 1410H.

Ground Deformation: Cumulative elevation changes of the volcanic edifice based on precise leveling (PL) measurements this March 2019 indicate that it has slightly inflated relative to November 2018 after a period of general deflation since 2016. Slight inflation of the edifice starting on January 2019 was also recorded by continuous Global Positioning Systems (GPS) after a period of general deflation since 2016.

Gas Emission: Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in Taal Main Crater Lake (MCL) based on continuous measurements have been gradually increasing since February 2019, indicating a slight increase in the input of volcanic CO2 degassing from the hydrothermal system into the lake.

Alert Level 2 has been raised signifying that a moderate and increasing unrest or a low to moderate level of seismic activity is happening that could eventually lead to an eruption.

The Batangas provincial disaster management officials have already ordered a preemptive evacuation of residents around the volcano.

Meanwhile, netizens in Batangas were quick to share photos of their current situation near the area.

— Sally,  The Summit Express

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