Taal acting up — Phivolcs

TAAL Volcano in Batangas has been acting up, with 29 volcanic earthquakes recorded over a 24-hour period from Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

A September 26 advisory posted on the Phivolcs web site on Wednesday said the seismic activity shown by Taal “is notably higher than the usual levels, which is generally only five or less events” over a 24-hour period during the volcano’s quiet spells.

But the agency added that this “increase in seismicity at Taal Volcano reflects a low-level episode of unrest” and did not indicate “an impending eruption.”

The quakes, recorded by the Taal Main Crater Seismic Station, included five that occurred between 2:33 to 2:49 a.m. on Tuesday and “were felt at intensities II to III by residents on Volcano Island.”

“These quakes were accompanied by rumbling sounds,” the Phivolcs advisory said.

It said possible precursors of an explosion, “such as increased steam emission, increased temperatures of steam vents and other changes” continued to be monitored.

It also recommended “appropriate vigilance by the public when visiting the island” and that the main crater area remain “off limits because sudden steam explosions may occur or high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate.”

“There are also several fissures traversing the Daang Kastila Trail which, when reactivated with steam emission, are also potentially hazardous to people,” the advisory added.

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