April  14  2011

Activity at restive Taal Volcano in Batangas continued to intensify on Thursday, with state volcanologists recording at least 12 volcanic quakes there in the last 24 hours.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said residents felt at least two of these 12 earthquakes.

"The first event occurred at 4:32 a.m. and was felt at Intensity II by residents in Barangay Calauit at the southeastern part of Taal Volcano Island with an audible rumbling sound. The second event occurred a few minutes later at 4:49 a.m., but felt only at Intensity I with faint rumbling sound in the same area," it said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.

Phivolcs also noted water temperature at the Main Crater Lake remained at 30.5 degrees Celsius.

Phivolcs said Alert Level 2 remains over Taal Volcano with the interpretation that magma has been intruding towards the surface.

The public was reminded that the following areas are strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate: 
·  the Main Crater;
·  Daang Kastila Trail, and 
·  Mt. Tabaro.

"Breathing air with high concentration of gases can be lethal to human, animals and even cause damage to vegetation. In addition, it is reminded that entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strictly not recommended," it said.

As this developed, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 23 families (or 98 people) voluntarily who evacuated earlier have returned home. 

Two quakes at Bulusan

Meanwhile, at least two volcanic quakes were recorded at Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon in the last 24 hours.

Alert Level 1 remains over Bulusan, with entry to the 4-kilometer (km) Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) still strictly prohibited because the area is at risk to sudden steam and ash explosions.

"Due to the prevailing wind direction, residents in the northwest and southwest sectors of the volcano are reminded to take precautions against ashfalls. Civil aviation authorities must also warn pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may be hazardous to aircraft," Phivolcs said.

Quake at mayon

Phivolcs said one volcanic earthquake was recorded at Mayon Volcano in Albay during the past 24 hours. A crater glow was observed at Intensity II Wednesday night.

Alert Level 1 remains over Mayon Volcano, where Phivolcs urged the public not to enter the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the continuing threat from sudden small explosions and rockfalls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano.

Phivolcs said active stream/river channels and those perennially identified as lahar-prone areas in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions. 

April 15, 2011

Volcanic activity continued to intensify at restive Taal Volcano in Batangas with at least 16 volcanic quakes recorded in the last 24 hours, state volcanologists said Friday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also noted an increase in water temperature at the Main Crater Lake from 29.8 to 30.1 degrees Celsius.

In its 7 a.m. Friday 
update, Phivolcs also said gas measurements at Taal's Main Crater Lake still showed a large increase in carbon dioxide emission compared to January and February.


The head of the Catholic Church’s Lipa Archdiocese on Wednesday asked the residents of villages near the Taal Volcano in Batangas province to voluntarily evacuate from their homes and move to safer grounds.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles made the call after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the Taal volcano’s alert level to No. 2.

“They should evacuate for their own safety, (although) we cannot force these people if they don’t want to go," Arguelles said in an article posted Wednesday evening on the Union of Catholic Asian News website.

Still, the Church prelate said he is confident the situation at Taal Volcano will not affect the observance of the Holy Week.

“It might even encourage people to participate more because of what they are going through. Let us not be pessimistic," Arguelles said.

Last Saturday, Phivolcs raised the alert level around Taal Volcano to No. 2 following an increase in the number of volcanic quakes and carbon dioxide emissions.

Earlier Wednesday, Department of Tourism officials warned tourists not to venture too close to the volcano’s danger zones.

Phivolcs had also recorded at least eight volcanic tremors in the last 24 hours.

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