Taal volcano update: Eruption alert as 116 earthquakes hit Philippines volcano overnight #earthquake TaalVolcano #philippines
The Philippines volcano is showing signs of volcanic activity (Image: GETTY/UNOCHA)
The volcano alert level for Taal is 3, meaning geologists are braced for an eruption in a matter of weeks. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Alert level 3 represents a high level of volcanic unrest.
The alert is marked by sustained seismic activity, plumes of smoke belching from Taal as well as toxic gas emissions and the movement of magma underground.
On Friday, PHIVOLCS warned of 116 tremors were detected around Taal volcano in the 24 hours since midnight GMT (8am local time).
The Taal Volcano Network recorded, in addition, two low-frequency earthquakes, which could be a sign of molten rock entering the volcano.
PHIVOLCS warned: “These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the Main Crater.”
The agency warned the residents of Luzon Island to stay clear of the volcano in a 4.3-mile-wide radius.
Access to the danger zone is restricted in parts of Agoncillo, Laurel and Batangas.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about 486,000 people have been affected by the erupting volcano since January 12.
On Friday, the fiery mountain sitting in the middle of Taal Lake was coughing up plumes of dirty steam and smoke.
The volcanic plumes were seen reaching heights between 1,640ft and 2,296ft, drifting in a southwest direction.
At the same time, PHIVOLCS said emissions of toxic sulphur dioxide (SO2) have dropped below instrumental detection.
Although eruptive activity has ceased since two blasts tore through Taal on January 12 and January 13 respectively, the volcano is still at risk of erupting.
Since January 12, Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) has recorded a total of 763 volcanic earthquakes around Taal.
The seismic activity was marked by fissures splitting the ground open on the southern parts of Luzon Island.
At least 177 of the quakes peaked at magnitudes between 1.2 and magnitude 4.2.
Between January 29 and January 31, the PSN recorded seven quakes between magnitude 1.7 and magnitude 2.5.
PHIVOLCS warned on Friday of more earthquakes, steam-driven eruptions, ashfall and lethal gases venting from the volcano.
The agency said: “DOST-PHIVOLCS recommends that entry into the Taal Volcano Island as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a 7km radius from the Main Crater must be strictly prohibited.
“Local government units are advised to assess areas outside the 7km radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.
“People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall and minor earthquakes.”
Riverside communities are at risk of lahars – fast-moving streams of mud, debris and volcanic ash mixed with water, particularly after heavy rainfall.
PHIVOLCS said: “Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircrafts.
“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk
Courtesy Aaron Merculieff
The National Weather Service issued a SIGMET aircraft safety alert as the ash plume from Shishaldin reached as high as 20,000 feet in elevation and extended up to 90 miles eastward from the volcano.
A lava flow is visible from the northeast flank of the volcano, with a large steam plume moving to the south-southeast visible in webcam imagery on Saturday.
A volcanic cloud is reported to extend up to 90 miles east from Shishaldin, located on Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Shishaldin is one of the most actives volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc — with 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775.
In April and May of 1999, an eruption at Shishaldin generated an ash column reaching 45,000 ft. about sea level.
Courtesy of ktuu.com
At least five people have died after a volcano erupted in New Zealand.
Police said the number of people missing is in double figures as they try to rescue up to 50 people from White Island, which is uninhabited but frequented by tourists.
They earlier confirmed that 23 people had so far been rescued, with most transferred to hospital with burns.
Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims added they still do not know an exact number of people involved in the incident, but both New Zealanders and international tourists are thought to be involved – thought to be from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.
Mr Tims also said that it is too dangerous to search the island following the eruption so a rescue operation has been suspended on advice of experts.
An earlier statement from St John Ambulance said it had dispatched paramedics on helicopters, and was aiming to establish a triage unit on the island.
The New Zealand Defence Force has also been dispatched to the area to help emergency services.
The eruption began at about 2.11pm local time.
Officers are hoping to locate the people who are unaccounted for through the passenger list from the cruise ship where many of the tourists had come from.
They added that they do not expect any significant impact on New Zealand’s North Island, one of the country’s two main islands, which is about 30 miles (50km) west of White Island – also known by the indigenous Maori name Whakaari.
Earlier, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the incident appeared to be “very significant”.
“A number of people are reportedly injured and are being transported to shore,” she said.
The GeoNet agency said a moderate volcanic eruption had occurred, throwing smoke and debris about 12,000ft (3,660m) into the air, and raised its alert level to four, on a scale where five represents a major eruption.
Dr Ken Gledhill, technical adviser at GNS Science, said it was “not a particularly big eruption” and was “almost like a throat clearing kind of eruption which is why material won’t make it to the mainland”.
“For volcanic eruptions it’s not large but if you were close it’s not good,” he added.
“It’s shown increased activity over the past few weeks so we raised the alert.
“We can’t be certain there won’t be another eruption in the next 24 hours.”
There will be questions asked as to why tourists were still able to visit the island after scientists recently noted an uptick in volcanic activity.
Royal Caribbean, whose cruise ship was visiting the mainland, had passengers on an excursion to the volcano.
A spokesperson for the company said: “We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today. We do not have any additional details to share at this time.”
Police have told people to avoid areas on North Island that are close to the eruption, including the Whakatane Heads and Muriwai Drive areas. A no-fly zone has also been established.
Footage from the scene shows walls of ash and smoke rising from the island, as well as a helicopter damaged in the eruption, laid on the ground.
White Island is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano and about 70% of the volcano is under the sea.
Twelve people were killed on the island in 1914 when it was being mined for sulphur. Part of a crater wall collapsed and a landslide destroyed the miners’ village and the mine itself.
The remains of buildings from another mining enterprise in the 1920s are now a tourist attraction, according to GeoNet.
The island became a private scenic reserve in 1953, and daily tours allow more than 10,000 people to visit the volcano every year.
Courtesy of Sky News
Metis Shoal Volcano smoke eruption. Photo by Captain Samuela Folaumoetu’i, Real Tonga Airlines.15 October 2019
An intermittent smoke eruption towering to 15,000-17000ft above the summit of the Metis Shoal Volcano, Ha’apai, this morning, has an increased likelihood of an eruption, with an aviation VONA alert now increased to Orange, the Tonga Meteorological Service advised at 10:20am.
Metis Shoal submarine volcano is located near Kao in Tonga’s Ha’apai Group, and is famous for its previous pumice eruptions that have created large pumice rafts.
Real Tonga pilots flying between Tongatapu and Vava’u on flights R4801 and R4802 this morning observed the intermittent smoke eruption, with continuous white plumes of wispy ash cloud.
“We just reconfirmed with the pilot on his way back that 25-30nm north of Kao, towering smoke erupting up to 15,000-17,000ft,” Tonga Met reported this morning, before upgrading an earlier Yellow alert to Orange.
Tonga Met Director, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu said that so far there had been no earthquakes detected in the area of the smoke eruption.
“The Town Officer of Fotuha’a Island, Sifa Fuakolo, first reported to us 8:30pm last night but [we] couldn’t verify till this morning’s Real Tonga flight.”
He said Tonga Met will issue a new Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) this evening, after domestic flights come in and any other shipping reports or observations are received.
Courtesy of matangitonga.to