2 ‘small explosions’ recorded as Alert Level 4 remains over Taal

Two "small explosions" were recorded as Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 4 (hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported on Thursday.

"At 6:17 a.m. and 6:21 a.m., there were short-lived, small explosions (recorded), wherein there was dark smoke coming out of the crater," Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief Mariton Bornas said in a briefing.

She noted that weak volcanic activity was observed in the main crater.

The short-lived eruption brought out dark gray ash plumes 500 meters to 800 meters high. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum earlier explained that the "weaker eruption" is being based on the height of the plume coming out from the crater.

According to Phivolcs, Taal Volcano's activity for the past 24 hours "has generally waned to weak emission of steam-laden plumes".

The volcano is still under Alert Level 4, said Bornas, noting that authorities observed signs indicating that there is still magma intrusion under the Taal Volcano. The continuous magmatic intrusion may lead to further eruptive activity.

From 5 a.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday, Phivolcs has recorded 103 volcanic earthquakes, 14 of which Intensities 1 to 3 were recorded.

Phivolcs reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island, high-risk areas within a 14-kilometer radius from the main crater, and along the Pansipit River.

It also warns residents around Taal Volcano against the hazards of prolonged ashfall.

Meanwhile, Bornas confirmed that Taal's main crater lake has already dried up. The magma coming out since January 12 has vaporized the water, she explained.

"Last January 13, we reported about the presence of lava fountain. By that time, we already know that this would dry up the water," she said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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