Philippines' Taal Volcano Shows Increased Activity Amid COVID-19 Outbreak; Will it Erupt Soon?

A local agency in the Philippines has detected increased volcanic activity from the Taal volcano.

While the country is currently dealing with an outbreak caused by COVID-19, the Taal volcano in the Philippines has once again displayed signs of increased activity. According to a local agency, several volcanic earthquakes have been recorded from Taal in the past couple of days.

Taal's volcanic activity is currently being monitored by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). Due to the volcano's current activities, its status remains at Alert Level 1.

Taal Volcano, Philippines
Taal Volcano, Philippines Wikimedia Commons

Increased Volcanic Activity

As indicated in PHIVOLCS' latest report, 3 volcanic earthquakes were reported in Taal on June 11. The agency explained that the earthquakes were associated with the rock-fracturing process happening around and beneath the volcano's edifice. The agency also detected weak plumes of steam coming from the vents on Taal's main crater.

PHIVOLCS detected the same level of activity from Taal during the past couple of days. Compared to its status in May, the volcano's activities have decreased this past week. Last month, an average of 10 volcanic earthquakes were detected from Taal daily.

Taal Volcano's Current Status

According to PHIVOLCS, Taal's status is currently at Alert Level 1. Although this status indicates that an eruption is not imminent, the agency warned entering the established danger zones around the volcano is still prohibited. PHIVOLCS also noted that local officials in the area should still continue to monitor the current status of the volcano in preparation for an emergency situation.

"People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, possible ashfall, and minor earthquakes," PHIVOLCS stated. "Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft."

Taal Volcano
Twitter grab

Taal's Previous Eruption

The Taal volcano's last major eruption occurred in January of this year. The powerful eruption occurred after months of increased activity that began in March of 2019. Back then, the status of the volcano was at Alert Level 1.

Due to the possibility of a volcanic tsunami and the magnitude of the eruption, which covered areas surrounding the volcano in ash, the volcano's status was raised to Alert Level 4.

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