Taal still swollen with magma: Phivolcs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2020 10:43 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2020 12:08 PM

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Taal Volcano remained swollen Tuesday, a sign that it could erupt anew, said the state seismology institute. 

The volcano becomes inflated when magma or molten rocks move underneath it, said Phivolcs volcano monitoring division chief Ma. Antonia Bornas. 

This is why Alert 4, the second-highest in a 5-step warning system, remained hoisted over the volcano, she told radio DZMM. This alert level means "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," Phivolcs said in a bulletin.

A man catches fish as Taal Volcano spews ash in Talisay, Batangas, Jan. 20, 2020. A "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," said seismologists. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

From 5 a.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, there were 448 earthquakes around Taal, nearly double the 244 tremors recorded the day before, said the institute. 

Also between Monday and Tuesday, Taal spewed around 344 tons of sulfur, just around 8 percent of the 4,300 tons of volcanic gas it belched Sunday. 

The volcano emits more gas the closer the magma is to the surface, noted Bornas. 

Taal, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, has erupted more than 30 times in the past 5 centuries, most recently in 1977. An eruption in 1911 killed 1,500 people and one in 1754 lasted for a few months. -- With a report from Reuters 

DZMM, Jan. 21, 2020