Taal Volcano is in danger of erupting

Claire Moylan, Arts & Reviews Editor

January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano in Luzon Island at the northern part of the Philippines began spewing ash, steam and rocks forcing government officials to evacuate the region around the volcano. Roughly 486,000 people have been affected, and over 300,000 were displaced and evacuated to state-run emergency shelters located in schools and government buildings. Smoke and ash from the initial spew blew into Manila, the capital of the Philippines, forcing flight cancellations and cutting power to large areas in the Batanga province.   

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) warned, after the first signs of activity the week of January 12, that following earthquakes could indicate that magma was entering the volcano. January 31, 2020, Taal Volcano shook with 116 earthquakes. Additionally, the PHIVOLCS recorded two low-frequency tremors and one harmonic tremor. Harmonic tremors show movement of molten rock or releases of volcanic gases. As a result, PHIVOLCS warned residents to stay away from the danger zone. 

Taal Volcano is currently at level three out of five on the scale that monitors volcanic activity, meaning, Taal is likely to erupt within a couple of weeks. Level three indicates a minor eruption. As of February 3, 2020, Taal Volcano began spewing sulfur dioxide and spitting plumes of smoke and ash.