We interrupt your daily COVID-19 news feed for a spot of good news: state seismologists today lowered Taal Volcano’s alert to level 1.
More than two months after the volcano’s eruption, and after some four weeks at alert level 2 (indicating decreased unrest), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has lowered Taal’s alert level, citing weak surface activity in the main crater and low levels of volcanic earthquake activity.
However, the institute noted, “Alert Level 1 means that the volcano is still in abnormal condition and [it] should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.” PHIVOLCS added that should they observe any renewed unrest, the alert will be raised back to level 2.
PHIVOLCS urged residents living near the volcano to “remain vigilant and always be prepared for a quick and organized evacuation” should the alert level go back up, but added that should Taal continue to register lowered activities, the alert level may be removed altogether.
Taal erupted in Batangas back in January, spewing pillars of ash and steam and blanketing several Luzon towns in thick ashfall. The eruption displaced thousands of residents in the area, and affected numerous businesses, particularly those in the tourism sector.
By late January, several schools reopened and residents returned to their homes after PHIVOLCS lowered Taal’s alert risk from “imminent eruption” to “high level” of volcanic activity, after it found emissions and quakes had dropped off dramatically.
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