Phivolcs: Recent ash fall triggered by past emissions; no new Taal discharges

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2020 08:18 PM

Ash disperses from Taal Volcano on January 21, 2020. The Phivolcs warns that, despite what looks like a drop-off in volcanic activity, a "hazardous explosive eruption" within hours or days is still possible. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday clarified that the ash fall observed in some parts of Batangas are from earlier emissions of Taal Volcano.

“Since 5 a.m., there were no ash emissions based on our seismic records and visual observations. However, unconsolidated ash blanketing Taal Volcano Island has been remobilized and transported by strong low-level winds towards southwest, affecting the towns of Lemery and Agoncillo,” the Phivolcs said in a bulletin.

The institue said airlines reported the “presence of remobilized volcanic ash at a height of approximately 5,800 meters (19,000 feet).”

On Wednesday morning, Mariton Bornas, of the Phivolcs’ volcano monitoring division, said only steam-laden plumes were observed in Taal.

“But (Tuesday) the winds were strong in Batangas that is why ash from the island reached the towns southwest of Taal Volcano.

The Phivolcs said Alert Level 4 remains up, which means a hazardous explosive eruption remains imminent. Besides the volcano island, high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano’s main crater should be off limits to people.

The institute also reminded planes to avoid the Taal airspace, because “airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards.”