Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located 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. Viewed from Tagaytay Ridge, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines. The volcano had several violent eruptions in the past causing loss of life in the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll estimated at around 5,000 to 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and its eruptive history, the volcano was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. It is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines and part of the Pacific ring of fire.
Permanent settlement in the island is prohibited by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS, declaring the whole Volcano Island as a high-risk area and a Permanent Danger Zone. Despite the warnings, poor families have settled on the island, risking their lives, earning a living by fishing and farming crops from the rich volcanic soil.
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. PHIVOLCS regularly issues notices and warnings about current activity at Taal, including ongoing seismic unrest.
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