Taal’s status lowered to Alert Level 2
MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 10:18 a.m.) — State volcanologists have downgraded Friday the status of Taal Volcano in Batangas to Alert Level 2, which signifies “decreased unrest,” more than a month after it erupted to life.
Phivolcs said parameters have consistently indicated the volcano’s decreased eruptive activities.
“Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding three weeks has been characterized by less frequent volcanic activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal caldera and Taal Volcano Island edifices and weak steam or gas emissions at the main crater,” it said.
The agency, however, stressed that Alert Level 2 should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of eruption is no longer there.
“At Alert Level 2, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within Taal Volcanic Island and along its coast,” Phivolcs said.
The agency recommended that entry into the volcano island and Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone must be strictly prohibited.
There is still a possibility that the alert level may be raised back to Alert Level 3, which signifies “decreased tendency toward hazardous eruption.”
Taal woke up from its slumber on January 12, unleashing kilometers-high ash column and lava fountain the next day, signalling. The restive activity led to the evacuation of thousands living on the volcano island and high-risk areas and destruction of houses and establishments in Batangas.
The volcano’s status was scaled down to Alert Level 3 two weeks later.