NEWS: Taal Volcano erupts in Batangas, Philippines


Image from the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology Institute as provided by Rapper

According to Rappler, the famous Taal Volcano, a popular attraction south of Manila that lures tourists between the provinces of Tagaytay and Batangas, has erupted this afternoon.

A steam-driven explosion spewed ash one kilometer into the sky as Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology officials raised the volcanic alert to Alert Level 3.


The Rappler story follows:


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Taal Volcano in Batangas spewed an ash column one kilometer high on Sunday afternoon, January 12, triggering the raising of its status to Alert Level 2 and then Alert Level 3.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) first raised Alert Level 2, which means increasing unrest, at 2:30 pm on Sunday.
This was due to a phreatic explosion, or a steam-driven episode that occurs when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or new volcanic deposits.
This was followed by Alert Level 3 at 4 pm, which means magmatic unrest.
Phivolcs said in its 4 pm bulletin that the Taal Volcano's main crater "has escalated its eruptive activity, generating an eruption plume one kilometer high, accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes."
"This means that there is magmatic intrusion that is likely driving the current activity," said Phivolcs.
"Ashfall is currently being showered on the southwest sector of Taal," added the agency.
Phivolcs strongly recommended that Taal Volcano Island and the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas be evacuated, citing "possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami."
It also noted that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone, and permanent settlement is strongly not recommended.
"In addition, communities around the Taal Lake shore are advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lakewater disturbances related to the ongoing unrest," said Phivolcs. Rappler.com

A 6 p.m. (ChST) update from the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology Institute reads as follows:

This serves as notice for the raising of the alert status of Taal from Alert Level 2 (increasing unrest) to Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest). As of 1404H (2:04 PST), Taal Volcano Main Crater has escalated its eruptive activity, generating an eruption plume 1 kilometer-high accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes in Volcano Island and barangays of Agoncillo, Batangas. Ashfall is currently being showered on the southwest sector of Taal.
In view of the above, DOST-PHIVOLCS is now raising the alert status of Taal from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3.  This means that there is magmatic intrusion that is likely driving the current activity. PHIVOLCS strongly recommends Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas be evacuated due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami. The public is reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel is prohibited. In addition, communities around the Taal Lake shore are advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lakewater disturbances related to the ongoing unrest.
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