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Taal Volcano Is Raised to Alert Level 3, Will It Erupt Again Like in 2020?

Phivolcs is monitoring its activities.
by Pia Regalado
Mar 28, 2022
Photo/s: Contributed Photo

Phivolcs on Monday said it is monitoring the Taal Volcano for possible eruption similar to January 2020's explosion after a "short-lived burst" of water and magma on Sunday raised its status to Alert Level 3.

So far, the volcano looked "somewhat deflated", meaning there's not much pressure from the volcano to cause a major eruption, said Phivolcs director Renato Solidum.

"Based on current parameters, we don't see the potential of a large, explosive eruption similar to the January 2020 eruption as of now," he told ANC.

"Compared to 2020, we haven't really seen some other parameters like the inflation of the volcano. The volcano is somewhat deflated yet so there's not much pressure from the shallow levels of the volcano except for the possible blockage of sulfur dioxide gas that would increase the pressure, but not so much."

The volcano belched a 1.5-kilometer plume of water and magma on Saturday morning, with Phivolcs raising alert levels to Alert Level 3, or "magmatic unrest". It also recommended for evacuation of residents living in the nearby villages of Agoncillo and Laurel.

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It's normal for the Taal Volcano to "manifest active behavior" years after its major explosion in January 2020, which prompted residents in Batangas and even Metro Manila to start wearing face masks two months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

"This activity of Taal volcano from 2020, 2021, 2022 is just normal because of the fact that once the volcano explodes, there is an immediate resupply of magma. Once the magma is resupplied right away, the potential of continuing its activity will be there."

What would cause a major explosion is the sudden rise of deep magma which could prevent sulfur dioxide to escape, Solidum said. So far, the volcano releases an average of 1,140 tons of sulfur dioxide, or above normal gas emission, based on its activity on March 27, he added.

He reminded residents to be on alert and await instructions from local government units on what to do in case of volcanic activities.

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