Alert level 1 up in Taal Volcano

Posted at 11/23/2012 12:46 PM | Updated as of 11/23/2012 1:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Alert level 1 has been hoisted over Taal Volcano on Friday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

In a statement, Phivolcs said the volcano's main crater is strictly off-limits due to sudden gas and steam explosions that may occur in the area.

"Sudden gas and steam explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate. The northern portion of the Main Crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, may also become hazardous when gas and steam emission along existing fissures suddenly increases," it said.

Though "hazardous eruption" is not yet imminent in the area, the public is still reminded that the Volcano Island is a permanent danger zone.

Phivolcs said, "The public is also reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strongly not recommended."

Phivolcs issued the advisory after having recorded an increase in the seismic activity of the volcano for the past 24 hours.

At least 60 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded. Two of the earthquakes were felt by residents of Calauit and Pira-piraso, it said.

The first earthquake occurred at 7:12 p.m. on Thursday and was felt at Intensity II while the second quake occurred at 7:23 p.m. and was felt at Intensity III accompanied by a rumbling sound.

Phivolcs said it has also recorded a slight increase in water temperature, from 33.4°C to 34.2°C, at the eastern sector of the Main Crater Lake.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission at the Main Crater Lake has also increased to 627 tonnes per day on July this year from 482 tonnes per day October last year, Phivolcs said.