Wed, Jan 15, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Volcanic ash not affecting Taiwan for now

TURBULENT:People traveling to areas near Taal Volcano should remain on alert and heed the warnings from Philippine authorities, the Central Weather Bureau said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Volcanic ash spewing from Taal Volcano in the Philippines is not likely to affect Taiwan’s air quality for now, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

Smoke and ash spewing from the volcano had reached an altitude of more than 10km on Monday, the bureau said, citing an infrared satellite cloud chart.

The ejected substance is expected to rapidly move northeast in the medium-to-high troposphere, it said.

From Monday to today, the volcanic ash would mainly spread to the Pacific region east of 125 degrees longitude, it said.

As the volcano is about 1,250km from Taiwan proper, the eruption and volcanic ash would not have any direct effect on the nation, the bureau said.

“However, people traveling to areas near Taal Volcano should be on alert and aware of information announced by the Philippine government. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has suggested that civil flights avoid the airspace around the volcano, as the ash and gravel ejected by the volcano could damage aircraft,” it said.

Weather Forecast Center Deputy Director Chen I-liang (陳怡良) said that whether the ash would reach Taiwan depends on subsequent volcanic activity and atmospheric conditions.

Taal Volcano entered a turbulent stage at 1pm on Sunday, the bureau said.

The material being ejected from the volcano’s main crater has changed from steam to lava, it said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded multiple earthquakes triggered by the volcano, which it said is an indication of a continuous upward magma migration under the volcano and further eruptions.

The institute has a five-tier volcano alert system. It was at level 4 yesterday, meaning that magmatic processes or effusive eruption are under way, which could progress into highly hazardous eruption.

It also means that the danger zone could be extended up to 9km from the main crater.

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