Filipinos reminded each other to stay alert and be on their guard after state volcanologists issued an advisory about the slightly increased seismic activity and main crater lake changes at the Taal Volcano in Batangas.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Monday reported that they have recorded 50 weak tremor episodes from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It also said that 68 shallow tremor episodes have occurred on Taal Volcano Island (TVI) since Saturday.
Apart from that, there was also an “increase in acidity and temperature of Main Crater Lake.”
“The public is reminded that Alert Level 1 (Abnormal) prevails over Taal Volcano. There are increased possibilities of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, hazardous volcanic gas, and minor ashfall from the Main Crater Lake that can occur and threaten areas within TVI,” Phivolcs said.
Based on Taal Volcano’s alert level signals, Alert Level 1 is raised when “low level seismicity, fumarolic, other activity” are observed.
While there is a “magmatic, tectonic or hydrothermal disturbance,” or seafloor tectonic magmatic activity, Phivolcs said there is “no eruption imminent.”
“DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly recommends that entry into TVI, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater Lake and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited,” the agency said.
It added that it is strictly monitoring the Batangas-based volcano and that “any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders.”
The public advisory prompted Filipinos to inform their Facebook friends to be “alert” and asked them to take extra care.
“(Censored) alert ka dapat lagi,” a Facebook user wrote in the comments section as she tagged someone.
“Keep safe everyone..” another online user wrote.
“(Censored) de.. maging alerto palagi,” a different Filipino commented with a worried emoji.
“(Censored) ingat kayo diyan nila papa,” another Facebook user shared.
In January last year, Taal Volcano erupted after its years-long slumber. The incident upended lives as it left more than 30 people dead and thousands of Filipinos homeless.
The volcano’s alert levels quickly increased on the day of its eruption, from Alert Level 1 in the morning to Alert Level 4 in the evening.
At the end of the day, thousands of locals within the 14-kilometer radius of Taal Volcano were ordered to evacuate to safer locations. Others have lost their lives due to anxiety and failure to follow evacuation orders.
As of December, some nearby residents were still reported to experience the impact of the eruption that has drastically affected their livelihoods and lifestyle, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Philstar.com reported that residents of the Taal Volcano island “found it difficult to make a living,” They could not resume fishing on the island since the it was locked down by the government. Despite this, they continue to temporarily stay for survival.
Others were still living in evacuation centers as of December.