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Batangas (14°00.1' N, 120°59.1' E)

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PHYSICAL FEATURES Elevation: 0.311 km Type of Volcano: Tuff cone Crater Lakes/Caldera/Maars: MAIN CRATER LAKE - 1.9 km in diameter; blue-green in color, 4 m above sea level, deepest point: 76 m Taal Volcano Island has 47 craters and 4 maars TAAL CALDERA - 25 km across and formed between 140,000 to 5,380 BP TAAL LAKE - inside the caldera; 267 sq. km and 2 m above sea level Adjacent Volcanic Edifice: Makiling (NE) Malepunyo (E), Batulao (W) and Macolod (SE)

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GEOLOGICAL FEATURES Rock Type: Olivine basalt, Andesite Tectonic Setting: Macolod Corridor Age of Deposits: 5380+_ 170 ybp (Radiocarbon age, Listanco, 1994)
VOLCANIC ACTIVITY Number of Historical Eruptions: 33 Latest Eruption/Activity: 1977 Oct. 3 Eruption Type: 1. Phreatic (e.g. 1878, 1911, 1970) 2. Phreatomagmatic (e.g. 1749, 1965, 1966) 3. Strombolian (e.g. 1968, 1969) 4. Plinian (e.g. 1754)

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Precursors to Eruptions: 1. Increase in frequency of quakes with occasional felt events accompanied by rumbling sounds 2. Increase in temperature and level of Main Crater Lake 3. Development of new thermal areas and/or reactivation of old ones 4. Ground swells or inflation and ground fissuring 5. Increase in temperature of ground probe holes at Mt. Tabaro 6. Sulfuric odor and acrid fumes 7. Fish kills and drying up of vegetation

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VOLCANIC HAZARDS Type of Hazards: 1. Base surges 2. Ashfalls and ballistic projectiles 3. Lava flows 4. Seiches/Tsunamis and flooding 5. Lakeshore landslide 6. Fissuring and ground subsidence Permanent Danger Zone: Entire Volcano Island Other Buffer Zones: Lakeshore barangays of Talisay, Agoncillo, San Nicolas and Laurel

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Areas To be Evacuated: In case of an eruption similar in nature and magnitude to: 1965 ACTIVITY - entire Volcano Island and four lakeshore barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel 1911 ACTIVITY - entire Volcano Island and lakeshore barangays of Talisay, Tanauan, Agoncillo, Balete, San Nicolas and Laurel Additional areas to be evacuated shall be determined based on the development in eruptive style and location of the monitored parameters.

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MONITORING ACTIVITY Volcano Observatory: Taal Volcano Observatory, Buco, Talisay - 9.7 km N of Main Crater (120°59.06’E, 14°05.10’N) Monitoring Methods: 1. Seismic monitoring (number of volcanic quakes and tremors) 2. Visual observations 3. Ground deformation (EDM, precisleveling, tilt) 4. Main Crater Lake chemistry, temperature and level

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Monitoring Stations A – Seismic Network Central Receiving & Processing Station: Taal Volcano Observatory, Buco, Talisay Seismic stations: Binintiang Munti, Calauit, Main Crater and Pira-piraso Repeater stations: Tagbakin, Napayung and Daang Kastila
B – Ground Deformation Network EDM lines: Tagbakin (instrument site) to Calauit (2 lines), . Buco (instrument site) to Pira-piraso (2 lines), Bilibinwang (instrument site) to Saluyan, Eruption Site (Tabaro), Alas-as Precise leveling lines: Calauit, Kaygabok Alas-as, Pira-piraso Electronic tilt: Daang Kastila, Calauit

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Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Historical eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Lake Taal. The lake partially fills Taal Caldera, which was formed by powerful prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 to 5,380 BP.Viewed from Tagaytay Ridge, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines.It is located about 50 km (31 mi) south of the capital of the country, the city of Manila. Taal Volcano, one of the world's lowest volcanoes, is an island located near the center of Taal Lake in Batangas Province. Its highest point, 311m . Above sea level, is on the eastern rim of the main crater. Covering an area of 23 sq. km., the Volcano Island is surrounded by a fresh body of water, about two meters above sea level and 127 sq. km. in area. Taal Lake is known to have originated from the collapse of pre-historic volcanic centers. The underwater topography suggests the presence of about 35 different submerged volcanic landforms.

Taal Volcano is a tuff cone. The rock formation consists of moderately consolidated ash beds with varying amounts of coarser fragments. Composed of at least 35 cones coalesced by several eruptions, Taal has about 47 craters or depressions formed either by direct explosive eruptions or by collapse or ground subsience. The 35 identified cones were formed by different type of volcanic processes: base surges (rapidly moving mixtures of volcanic debris and steam), airfalls and effusion of lava. Twenty-six of these cones are tuff cones, five are cinder cones and four are maars (shallow to deep circular depressions of volcanic origin).

The Main Crater occupies the central portion of the Volcano Island. Twelve of Taal Volcano's eruptions occured at this crater from 1749 to 1911. There are five other major eruption centers, namely: Binintiang Malaki, Binintiang Munti, Pira-0piraso, Calauit and Mt. Tabaro Eruption Site. To date, Taal Volcano, has had 33 recorded eruption since its first known outburst in 1572. Its most catastrophic eruptions occured in 1754 and 1911. In 1754, the towns of Sala, Lipa, Tanauan, and Taal, then on the borders of Lake Taal, were destroyed and were subsequently relocated to their present sites. The 1911 eruption completely devastated the whole Volcano Island and claimed a toll of 1,034 lives. Ashes spewed out by the volcano reached as far as Manila and covered an area of 2,000 sq. km.

Based on Taal Volcano's morphological features, it can be deduced that most of its eruptions were either Phreatic or Phreatomagmatic. Ground water and mobile magma may have either separately or jointly played the pricipal role in determining the nature of Taal eruptions. The 1968 and 1969 activities were, however, characterized as Strombolian with lava fountaining from several active vents and the effussion of molten rocks at the base of crater. Despite the hazards posed by the volcano, Taal Volcano Island has been attracting migrants because of its fertile soil and rich fishing grounds. Lake Taal is known for several varieties of milkfish, carps, maliputo and tawilis.

Thirty three eruptions have been recorded since 1572 at Taal, mostly on Volcano Island. The impacts of these eruptions were largely confined to the intracaldera area. Occasional violent activity, however, such as the 1754 plinian eruption, affected the entire region, including what is now the Metro Manila area with fallout. Some activity, such as the 1749 eruption, were accompanied by crustal disturbance and strong earthquakes, which generated ground fissures and pronounced subsidence that extended across Taal lake.

The caldera has a long, but little known history of catastrophic explosive volcanism affecting much larger areas, including the Metro Manila area. The eruptions, one to two orders of magnitude larger and more devastating than those of Mount Pinatubo, have deposited massive ignimbrites, including the deposits of turbulent pyroclastic flows, and widespread tephra fall units in recent geologic time. Accompanying this volcanism has been extensive volcaniclastic sedimentation, dominated by deposition of hyperconcentrated streamflows and lahars in low-lying subaerial and shallow marine environments.

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology's (PHIVOLCS) choice of a Decade Volcano from among the 200 volcanoes in the Philippines rests on Taal's obvious and dangerous attributes: frequent activity greatest number of elements at risk, high population density of the region complicated and little understood volcanology excellent accessibility.

Taal caldera is envisaged as being composed of two adjacent calderas in a SW-NE striking graben setting largely controlled by the intersection of regional structures. Gravity profiles exhibit a high plateaushaped anomaly, modeled as a graben structure underlain by a thick dense igneous intrusion (Yokoyama et al., 1975). Fault bounded caldera walls are more pronounced on the north rim, forming the Tagaytay Ridge with 600 m relief. Taal is not a strato-cone, but has a low profile, precaldera construction topography, now blanketed by ignimbrite sheets. Taal lake has been the site of major eruptions of an unusual type of ignimbrite of andesitic composition, previously referred to as base surges.

The whole region surrounding Taal is at considerable volcanic risk. Taal Volcano is situated in a highly populated and rapidly growing agricultural and industrial region. Five towns are located around the lakeshore and 2 cities and 8 more towns are lined up along the caldera rim. Two large power stations are located 15 km and 17 km, respectively, from Taal Lake.

The geologic setting of Taal, and the variability of eruption sites and magnitudes, generates a diverse range of volcanic hazards, such as base surges, lava flows, ballistic fallout, ash and scoria fallout, toxic gases, acidic flashes from crater lake, lake tsunamis and seiches, lakeshore flooding, earthquakes, ground fissuring and subsidence, landslides and sectoral collapse, turbulent ashflows, and lahars. Base surges were first documented during an eruption at Taal in 1965 (Moore et al., 1966). This particular hazard is the notorious cause of deaths and destructions both on Volcano Island and in lakeshore areas as surges can propagate over the lake without significant reduction in force.

Base surge eruptions in 1911 and 1965 blasted the villages to the west of the vent at Volcano Island, travelling 3 km across Lake Taal. In contrast, the aa lava flows erupted in 1968 and 1969 were confined within the embayment created by the 1965 eruption in the SW flank of Volcano Island and, apparently, did not pose a significant threat at that time. However, lava flows could be a serious hazard at Taal if erupted from a lakeshore vent and accompanied by violent hydrovolcanic explosions resulting from lava-lakewater interaction. The presence of a scoria cone at Boot, located east of Volcano Island, also suggests that eruptions along lakeshore areas are highly probable, although without historical precedence.

Although the volcano has been quiet since 1977, it has shown signs of unrest since 1991, with strong seismic activity and ground fracturing events, as well as the formation of small mud pots and mud geysers on parts of the island. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) regularly issues notices and warnings about current activity at Taal, including ongoing seismic unrest.

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5 Jul. Alert Level was lowered from 2 to 1 after 11 weeks (April 9) of increased activity. 1 Jun. Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 22. (2) Intensity II earthquakes in the eastern sector of volcano accompanied by rumbling sounds. Bubbling activity observed in the middle of Main Crater Lake. 31 May. Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 31. (1) Intensity I and (2) Intensity II earthquakes, NE & SE sector of volcano accompanied by rumbling sounds. 30 May. Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 115. (1) Intensity I, (9) Intensity II, (1) Intensity III, and (1) Internsity IV earthquakes, NE, SW & SE sector of volcano accompanied by rumbling sounds.

29 May. Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 10.  28 May. Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 6. Magma has been intruding towards the surface, as indicated by continuing high rates of CO2 emissions in the Main Crater Lake and sustained seismic activity. Field measurements on 24 May 2011 show lake temperatures slightly increased, pH values slightly more acidic and water levels 4 cm higher. A ground deformation survey conducted around the Volcano Island 26 April - 3 May 2011 showed that the volcano edifice inflated slightly relative to the 05-11 April 2011 survey.

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May. Alert level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (25 hrs) = 5.  10 Apr. Alert Level 2. The main crater, Daang Kastila Trail, and Mt Tabaro are strictly off-limits to the public because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions could occur. Breathing air with high concentration of gases can be lethal to humans, animals and can even damage vegetation, the agency warned

8 June. PHIVOLCS raised the volcano status to Alert Level 2 (scale is 0-5, 0 referring to No Alert status), which indicates the volcano is undergoing magmatic intrusion which could eventually lead to an eruption. PHIVOLCS reminds the general public that the Main Crater remains off-limits because hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur, along with the possible build-up of toxic gases. Areas with hot ground and steam emission such as portions of the Daang Kastila Trail are considered hazardous. 11–24 May. Crater lake temperature increased by 2-3°C. The composition of Main Crater Lake water has shown above normal values of Mg/Cl, SO4/Cl and Total Dissolved Solids. There has been ground steaming accompanied by hissing sounds on the northern and northeast sides of the main crater. 26 April. Volcanic seismicity had increased.

20 July. National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) executive officer Glenn Rabonza warned that although there were no volcanic quakes detected at Taal since the detection of nine volcanic quakes from June 13 to July 19, and there had been no steaming activity monitored since last recorded on June 23, Phivolcs Alert stands at Level 1, warning that Taal’s main crater is off-limits to the public because steam explosions may suddenly occur or high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate.

28 August. PHIVOLCS notified the public and concerned authorities that the Taal seismic network recorded ten (10) volcanic earthquakes from 5:30 AM to 3 PM. Two (2) of these quakes that occurred at 12:33 and 12:46 PM, were both felt at intensity II by residents at barangay Pira-piraso. These quakes were accompanied by rumbling sounds. The events were located northeast of the volcano island near Daang Kastila area with depths of approximately 0.6 km (12:33 PM) and 0.8 km (12:46 PM)"

Taal Volcano is part of a chain of volcanoes along the western side of the edge of the island of Luzon, which were formed by the subduction of the Eurasian Plate underneath the Philippine Mobile Belt. Taal Lake lies within a 25–30 km caldera formed by four explosive eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. Each of these eruptions created extensive ignimbrite deposits, reaching as far away as where Manila stands today.

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the formation of the caldera, subsequent eruptions have created another volcanic island, within the caldera, known as Volcano Island. This island covers an area of about 23 square kilometres (8.9 sq mi), and consists of overlapping cones and craters. Forty-seven different cones and craters have been identified on the island.

The eruption claimed a reported 1,335 lives and injured 199; although it is known that more perished than the official records show. The seven barangays that existed on the island previous to the eruption were completely wiped out. Post mortem examination of the victims seemed to show that practically all had died of scalding by hot steam or hot mud, or both. The devastating effects of the blast reached the west shore of the lake where a number of villages were also destroyed. Cattle to the number of 702 were killed and 543 nipa houses destroyed. Crops suffered from the deposit of ashes that fell to a depth of almost half an inch in places near the shore of the lake.

Volcano Island sank from three to ten feet as a result of the eruption. It was also found that the southern shore of Lake Taal sank in elevation from the eruption. No evidences of lava could be discovered anywhere, nor have geologists been able to trace any visible records of a lava flow having occurred at any time on the volcano back then. Another peculiarity of the geologic aspects of Taal is the fact that no sulphur has been found on the volcano. The yellow deposits and encrustations noticeable in the crater and its vicinity are iron salts, according to chemical analysis. Slight smell of sulfur was perceptible at the volcano, which came from the gases that escape from the crater.

One large rock, now called Vulcan Point that projects from the surface of the crater lake was the remnant of the old crater floor that is now surrounded by the 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide lake, now referred to as the Main Crater Lake. Vulcan Point is cited as the world's largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island,i.e., Vulcan Point within Crater Lake, on Taal Island within Lake Taal, on the island of Luzon.

Increase in frequency of volcanic quakes with occasional felt events accompanied by rumbling sounds On the Main Crater Lake, changes in the water temperature, level, and bubbling or boiling activity on the lake.

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Before the 1965 eruption began, the lake's temperature rose to several degrees above normal. However, on some eruptions there is no reported increase in the lake's temperature. On some eruptions, the dissolution of acidic volcanic gases into the lake has resulted in the death of large numbers of fish and animals. Development of new or reactivation of old thermal areas like fumaroles, geysers or mudpots Ground inflation or ground fissuring Increase in temperature of ground probe holes on monitoring stations Strong sulfuric odor or irritating fumes similar to rotten eggs Fish kills and drying up of vegetation

Volcanologists measuring the concentration of radon gas in the soil on Volcano island measured an anomalous increase of the radon concentration by a factor of six in October 1994. This increase was followed 22 days later by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on November 15, centered about 50 km south of Taal, off the coast of Luzon.