Phivolcs: Hazardous eruption will 'definitely' kill anyone in Taal danger zone

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State volcanologists say there are a few possible events that could fatally affect people near the volcano during its hazardous eruption. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Anyone found within Taal Volcano's 14-kilometer danger zone will meet a sure death during the anticipated hazardous eruption due to a number of dangerous scenarios, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Friday.

"Hazardous po iyon kasi mabilis 'yung ganoong movement and mainit siya. Definitely deadly kung sinong nasa vicinity," said Danniko Rivera, Phivolcs Senior Science Research Specialist.

[Translation: It is hazardous because the movement is fast and hot. [It will be] definitely deadly for someone in the vicinity.]

Volcanologists and Joint Task Force Taal closely monitored the volcano through an aerial inspection. Phivolcs continues to peg the danger at Alert Level 4, meaning a hazardous, explosive eruption can take place within hours or days.

When the eruption does occur, the public can expect a base surge or a horizontal movement of hot gases, volcanic fragments and ash at 60 kilometers per hour — as fast as a car moving at average speed, state volcanologists said.

They added that the surge can traverse Taal lake and easily reach the mainland within the danger zone surrounding the volcano and other identified high-risk areas.

National Institute of Geological Sciences professor Carlo Arcilla of the University of the Philippines said the instant death will come from inhaling the hot gases. He said the temperature of the magma can be at least 600 degrees Celcius to 1,000 degrees Celcius.

"What will kill you is when you breathe in the 600-degree air, that's a fast death....You will be burnt. Maluluto 'yan [That will be cooked] (your skin)," Arcilla described to CNN Philippines' News Night.

Possible scenarios

Apart from the base surge, another explosion is also possible if magma will come out of Taal's vents and interact with water. This on top of the volcano also possibly belching a column of ash and launching projectiles such as rocks that can be as big as blocks or bombs, fatally hitting people nearby.

Phivolcs said it is still anticipating an explosive event after seeing similarities in the volcano's activity to its movement during the eruption in 1754 and 1911.This despite volcanic activity visually weakening.

"Visually we can say nag-we-wane 'yung...hitsura po ng column kung icocompare natin noong Sunday o Monday pero... internally, seismisity, gas measurements and changes in the ground and fissure mapping up until yesterday, so nakikita namin may ground movement," explained Rivera.

[Translation: Visually we can say that the appearance of the column is waning if we compare it to how it was on Sunday or Monday but...internally, seismisity, gas measurements and changes in the ground and fissure mapping up until yesterday, so we can see there is ground movement.]

READ: How to prepare for Taal's imminent explosive eruption 

A total of 634 volcanic tremors have been plotted around Taal area since Sunday, Phivolcs said in its latest advisory. Exisiting cracks in the streets of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas also widened, the agency added.

Over 70,000 residents of Cavite and Batangas are taking temporary shelter in 300 evacuation centers since Taal Volcano's stream-driven eruption on Sunday. Thick ash plumes burst from the volcano's crater, bringing ashfall to nearby provinces including Metro Manila. As a result, homes and fields with still planted crops have been blanketed in a heavy layer of ash. The agriculture sector has suffered over ₱3 billion worth of damage from the incident.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Triciah Terada and Digital Producer Janine Peralta contirbuted to this report.