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PHIVOLCS Might Lower The Alert Level For Taal Volcano If Its Activity Continues To Subside

Data is now being studied to consider the possibility.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Wikimedia Commons; (RIGHT) Twitter/Phivolcs_Dost

Despite Taal Volcano's display of decreased activity on January 16, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has maintained Alert Level 4. 

PHIVOLCS is looking into the possibility of possibly lowering the alert level, should the volcano's lull continue, keeping in mind the thousands of evacuees who wish to return to their homes.

"Kung maging matagal ang lull, puwedeng babaan ang alert level," said PHIVOLCS Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division Chief Mariton Bornas.

In a bulletin, PHIVOLCS reported that there were "short-lived dark gray ash plumes" and that "activity in the past 24 hours has generally waned to weak emission of steam-laden plumes." Intense tremors were also recorded, which indicates the movement of magma beneath Taal. 

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Bornas stated that just because a volcano has gone into a lull, it doesn't mean that a hazardous eruption is no longer possible. Residents are still urged to keep their guard up against the risks associated with heavy and prolonged ashfall.

"Iwasan natin ang volcano island at huwag na muna tayong bumalik dito," said Bornas. "Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang ating ahensya na pag-aralang mabuti kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng lull period na ito."

“Huwag nating i-gamble ang ating buhay sa mga oras na ito dahil nandyan pa rin ang posibilidad ng malakas na pagputok ng bulkan,” she added.

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