Manila, Aug 18 . .- The Taal volcano in the Philippines, located about 80 kilometers from Manila, expelled a “weak vapor emission” from about 20 meters high in the last 24 hours, the Institute of Volcanology reported on Tuesday. and Seismology in the Philippines (Phivolcs).
El Taal, one of the smallest active volcanoes in the world, erupted last January forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people who lived in the vicinity.
The alert was raised for several weeks to level 4 (of a total of 5) due to the risk of an “explosive eruption”, but since March it remains at alert 1, which means that “sudden phreatic explosions may occur, driven by steam or by earthquakes; slight ash fall or accumulations of volcanic gas “.
Phivolcs reported today that in the last 24 hours there have been five volcanic earthquakes in the vicinity of Taal, one of the symptoms that indicate activity in the underground layers of the earth.
Some 5,000 people with few resources lived on the slopes of the volcano and in small surrounding towns, which the authorities declared in January unfit to be inhabited, so some people have been evacuated since then.
“Local government units are advised to continually assess evacuated neighborhoods around Lake Taal for damage and road accessibility and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in the event that activity resumes,” Phivolcs said.
Additionally, Phivolcs reminded civil aviation authorities to advise pilots to “avoid flying near the volcano, as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-blown ash can pose a hazard to aircraft. “.