Statement on ongoing eruption of Taal volcano and its impact on NMI

Community Bulletin
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(CNMI EOC State Warning Point) — The National Weather Service-Weather Forecast Office in Tiyan, Guam has been monitoring the ongoing activity associated with eruption of Taal Volcano, in Batangas province, south of Manila, the Philippines. Analysis of Sunday evening’s major eruption shows steam and ash reaching up to 10 miles, or approximately 55,000 feet, into the atmosphere. This plume spread accumulating ash over surrounding villages and towns of Taal Lake and northward into the Metro Manila area.

Visible and infrared satellite animation shows the evening and overnight ash plume spreading northward over the northern Philippine island of Luzon, eventually dispersing toward the north-northeast of northern Luzon. Latest visible satellite animation shows ongoing activity reaching only into the lower atmosphere, or below approximately 10,000 feet, and dispersing into the low level wind flow to the southwest.

Additional major eruptions are possible in the coming days. Authorities with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology are warning of the possibility of a “volcano tsunami” associated with future major eruptions. This is only a local threat to those areas surrounding Taal Lake and is not a threat to Guam or the CNMI.

A Saipan resident took this photo of Taal volcano in 2014 from the rim of its center cinder cone. Located about 40 miles south of Manila, the Philippines, Taal has been pouring out smoke, ash and lava since Sunday.  Photo by Curt Klemstein

Numerical forecast model trajectories show subsequent volcanic ash clouds in the mid and upper atmosphere, or above 15,000 feet, will disperse to the north and north-northeast over the northern Philippines. Volcanic debris in the lower atmosphere, or below 10,000-15,000 feet, will disperse to the southwest. Therefore, the ongoing activity at Taal Volcano currently poses no threat to Guam or the CNMI, other than flights to and from the Philippines.

The Weather Forecast Office on Guam will monitor this ongoing situation for any changes in weather patterns that could bring ash and haze to Guam and/or the CNMI should this be a prolonged event.

For more information, contact the CNMI EOC State Warning Point at 237-8000 or 664-8000. Those in the Northern Islands may contact CNMI EOC State Warning Point at high frequency single side band radio on frequency 5.205.0.

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