By Marjaleen Ramos
A total of 666 volcanic earthquakes has been plotted at Taal Volcano since its eruption last Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Saturday.
Phivolcs said that, of this number, 174 were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V.
In its bulletin, Phivolcs said that Taal’s activity in the past 24 hours has been characterized by the weak emission of steam-laden plumes reaching 600 meters that dispersed ash to the southwest of Taal’s main crater.
There were 32 volcanic earthquakes plotted by the Philippine Seismic Network from Friday morning to Saturday morning, registered at magnitudes 1.5 to 3.3.
Meanwhile, the Taal Volcano Network has recorded 876 volcanic earthquakes, including six tremor events and 20 low-frequency earthquakes.
In their latest analysis, Taal’s sulfur dioxide emission was measured at an average of 360 per day as of January 17.
Such intense volcanic earthquakes recorded at Taal Volcano signified continuous magma intrusion which may lead to further eruptive activity, Phivolcs added.
Alert Level 4 remains hoisted over Taal Volcano, warning about a possible hazardous explosive eruption within hours or days.
Phivolcs reiterated the need for the total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas as identified in the hazard maps within the 14-km radius from Taal Main Crater and along the Pansipit River Valley.
Residents are also advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.