Tremor at Taal indicates magma movement in Philippines

White steam emits from Taal volcano crater as seen from a Philippine airforce helicopter during an aerial survey on January 21, 2020. Philippine authorities ordered a crackdown on January 20 on evacuees' daily visits to homes in the danger zone around Taal volcano, amid a warning it could be "recharging" for a more powerful explosion. AFP/Ted Aljibe. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Feb 1, 2020, PhilStar. State volcanologists monitoring the Taal Volcano unrest recorded a short-duration harmonic tremor in the past 24 hours, which they said indicates the movement of magma inside the volcano, The Philippine Star reported.

The tremor lasted for three minutes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in its 8 a.m. bulletin released Saturday.

Phivolcs previously recorded a harmonic tremor on Thursday which lasted for 97 seconds.

The Taal Volcano has been emitting wispy to weak emission of white to dirty white steam-laden plumes up to 50 meters high, drifting southwest.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission is measured at an average 65 tons per day.

Apart from the harmonic tremor and sulfur dioxide emission, the Taal Volcano Network recorded a total of 182 volcanic earthquakes and one low-frequency event.

“These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the Main Crater,” Phivolcs said.

Alert Level 3 remains in place over Taal Volcano.

Phivolcs advised the public of “sudden steam-driven and even weak phreatomagmatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, ashfall and lethal volcanic gas expulsions,” which may threaten the Taal Volcano Island and nearby lakeshores.

Taal, located just 60 kilometres from the capital Manila, is one of the most active volcanoes in a country where eruptions and earthquakes are a dangerous part of life.

Its last eruption was in 1977, but it has a long history of activity. In 1965, a Taal eruption killed some 200 people.

With report from Agence France-Presse

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