The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) downgraded the alert status of Mt. Pinatubo to Alert Level 0 yesterday, August 12.
In its latest bulletin, PHIVOLCS said that status of the volcano was lowered down from Alert Level 1 or low-level unrest to Alert Level 0 or normal after it recorded 104 volcanic earthquakes or an average of 2 to 3 per day with a magnitude between 0.8 to 1.3 from July 1 to August 11. (Read: How Fossil Discoveries Are Proving the Need to Invest in the Sciences)
The agency also noted that this is a significant decrease compared to the period from January 28 to June 30 when earthquake activity averaged from 12 to 13 per day and ranging from 0.7 to 3.2 magnitude.
The diffuse carbon dioxide flux (CO2) from Mt. Pinatubo’s crater lake, which is an indication of deep magma degassing, declined at 263 tonnes per day in mid-April 2021. It is well within the background range of less than 1,000 tonnes per day that were recorded since 2008.
Detected by InSAR data analysis, the ground deformation of the volcano is “likely tectonic, rather than volcanic, in origin” from June 2020 to May 2021. (Read: LOOK: Taal Volcano’s ashes are being turned into bricks for building facilities)
Lowering the alert status of Mt. Pinatubo from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 0 means that “observational parameters have returned to baseline levels and the volcano has returned to a period of quiescence.”
However, PHIVOLCS reiterated that Alert Level 1 may be raised again in the event of a renewed increase in any one or combination of their monitoring parameters.
“Entry into the Pinatubo Crater area must always be conducted with caution due to the perennial hazards of rockfalls, landslides, and lethal expulsions of volcanic CO2,” PHIVOLCS underscored.
People living in valleys and active river channels are also reminded to remain vigilant against “sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of prolonged and heavy rainfall.” (Read: Four things you should do during volcanic eruptions)
PHIVOLCS assured the public that it will closely monitor the condition of Mt. Pinatubo, including any new developments that will be relayed to all concerned agencies.