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Taal Update: No Major Eruption Yet But Close Monitoring Continues

Authorities and residents within the Taal Volcano's vicinity are instructed to remain vigilant should circumstances change.

A major eruption from Taal Volcano is not expected as of the moment, although close monitoring is still necessary, said Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum today, July 2.

In its 8 AM bulletin, Philvolcs said that they recorded 29 volcanic earthquakes over the last 24 hours, one of which is an explosion-type earthquake. 22 low frequency volcanic earthquakes and two volcanic tremors that lasted for three minutes were also recorded. Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 3 following its recent eruption yesterday.

“High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide and steam-rich plumes that rose as much as 3000 meters high and drifted southwest and southeast have been observed from the Taal Main Crater,” Phivolcs said. (Read: Taal Volcano Shows Increased Unrest, Now on Alert Level 2)

Thursday Night Explosions

Another report stated that four short phreatomagmatic bursts have been recorded in Taal Volcano on Thursday night. These lasted for no longer than two minutes each and produced short jetted plumes that rose 200 meters above the Main Crater Lake.

In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo this morning, Solidum said that no bursts have been recorded since then.

Pagkatapos noong apat na maliliit na pagsabog kagabi, wala na pong sumunod. Ang nakikita natin ngayon ay yung paglabas ng mapuputing usok, may gas po dyan at water vapor na madalas ay pinapadpad yan papuntang timog-kanluran,” Solidum said. (Read: Here’s how you can help those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption)

Wala naman masyadong pagyanig na nare-record sa kasalukuyan ang mga instrumento natin sa Taal Volcano Island,” he added.

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Some residents of Laurel, Batangas leave their houses to go to an evacuation center following Taal Volcano’s latest restive activity on July 1, 2021 (Photo from Ali Vicoy/ Manila Bulletin)

Evacuations

Meanwhile, no forced evacuation was implemented by the local government units surrounding the Taal Volcano except for two barangays that are within the seven-kilometer danger zone–Barangays Banyaga and Bilibinwang in Agoncillo, Batangas.

In its bulletin earlier, Phivolcs also recommended evacuating some barangays in Laurel, Batangas.

Sa ngayon po ay wala po tayong pwersahang pagpapalikas sa 19 na barangay maliban na lamang po sa 2 barangay na malapit at sakop po ng 7 Kilometers Danger Zone mula sa isla o pulo kung saan sakop nito ang Brgy. Banyaga at Brgy. Bilibinwang,” Agoncillo’s Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said in a Facebook post.

“The public is reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and entry into the island as well as into the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur,” Phivolcs said. (Read: Animals get left behind amidst the Taal Volcano eruption—here’s what you can do to help them)

“All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time. Communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog [volcanic smog] and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify,” it added.

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(July 2, 2021) Felipe Caringal, chairman of Barangay Caloocan, Talisay, Batangas says they are on standby in case the Talisay LGU orders forced evacuation. Talisay is located within the 14-km danger zone of Taal Volcano. (Photo from Jairo Bolledo Twitter)

LGUs on standby

Earlier during the Phivolcs briefing, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas said that several evacuation centers and government assets and personnel are already on standby in case there is a need to evacuate more residents.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said the Cavite provincial government was in close coordination with officials of the towns surrounding the volcano and had food stocks enough for five days and over 100 vehicles for evacuation. “Antigen test kits are also on standby for the evacuation areas,” Remulla announced on his Facebook page.

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