MANILA, Philippines — A series of volcanic earthquakes hit Batangas on Wednesday morning, according to an evening advisory issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
The quakes, which Phivolcs detected at 3:47 a.m., were accompanied by “rumbling sounds.”
They were felt at Intensity I in Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo town.
“The event registered a maximum magnitude of 2.9 and lasted two minutes based on the seismic record and produced a series of four short-lived plumes less than a kilometer tall based on thermal camera recording,” Phivolcs said.
“The seismic signal characteristics of the event are similar to phreatomagmatic bursts that occurred in July 2021,” it added.
Multiple phreatomagmatic eruptions, brought about by the contact of hot magma and water, were recorded back in July, producing short jetted plumes about 200 meters high.
Meanwhile, Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 2, which indicates “increased unrest.”
The volcano has been under Alert Level 2 since July 23, 2021.
“At Alert Level 2, sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around TVI,” Phivolcs pointed out.
Phivolcs said that entry to the Taal Volcano Island, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, is strictly prohibited.
Boating on Taal Lake is also prohibited, and pilots are advised to avoid flying close to the volcano as it may pose hazards from sudden explosions.
Phivolcs advised local government units in the area to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.
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