The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday reported an increase in the amount of steam being released by Taal Volcano in Batangas after having weak and moderate steam emissions for the past three days.
Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the increase in steam started past 5 a.m. Friday.
For the past 24 hours, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN), recorded 486 volcanic earthquakes including four low-frequency earthquakes.
Phivolcs said such intense activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.
Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano, which means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.
Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) wind forecast, if the eruption plume remains below five kilometers, ash will be drifted to the municipalities west and northwest of the main crater. However, if a major eruption occurs during the day and the eruption column exceeds 7 km., ash will also be drifted over the western parts of Laguna and Quezon provinces. Residents around the volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.
Total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km. radius from the Taal Volcano main crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed is still in effect.
Source: Philippines News Agency