Taal Volcano Alert Level 4 - Update From U.S. Embassy Manila (January 12, 2020)

Natural Disaster Alert Update From U.S. Embassy Manila (January 12, 2020)

Passing this along from the US Embassy:
Location: Vicinity of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas, Philippines
Event: In light of intensified eruptive activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised Taal Volcano's alert status from Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) to ALERT LEVEL 4 (hazardous eruption imminent). This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.
Actions to Take:
  • U.S. citizens in the Philippines should exercise caution if contemplating travel in the vicinity of the Taal Volcano Island and surrounding areas. 
  • DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates, "total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and additional evacuation of areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater." 
  • Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. 
  • Be vigilant and, according to PHIVOLCS, "the public is reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone, and entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel is prohibited." 
  • Those planning travel to the Taal volcano region are encouraged to monitor current conditions, maintain active awareness of local conditions, and especially refrain from entering the Permanent Danger Zone and high-risk barangays. 
  • Continue to monitor local media as well as the PHIVOLCS web site for updates on the situation http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/

******************************************** end Embassy Alert

Taal has produced several VEI ~4 eruptions over the last few centuries and is thought to have produced a VEI 6 eruption 6000-7000 years ago.

For comparison, the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980 was a VEI 5 and the Pinatubo eruption in 1991 was a VEI 6.

From what I have read, the Taal volcano that is now active sits within a larger caldera. That outer caldera volcano created a VEI 7-8 super-volcanic eruption hundreds of thousands of years ago. Nothing like that has been experienced in human history. 

The Tambora eruption of 1815 was the largest volcanic eruption in human history. At VEI 7 Tambora only produced .1% of the erupted tephra volume of a VEI 8 eruption.

And yet people almost 2000 miles away heard the explosion of Tambora.

A VEI 8 eruption would be the shot heard round the world. 


* I am not affiliated with the US Embassy. I am just a citizen of the US passing along information to other citizens of the US.

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