The complex Taal Volcano is located in the Philippines at the island of Luzon 31miles south of Manila. It is found on an island right in the middle of the Taal Lake. In the prehistoric times between 140,000 to 5,380 BP, this volcano exploded in powerful eruptions which eventually resulted in the formation of Taal Caldera which is partially filled by the lake. The complex volcano when viewed from the Tagaytay ridge emanates one of the most picturesque attractions in the Philippines.
In the past the volcano has erupted several times claiming the lives of many people residing in the island. These losses of life were estimated to be about 5,000-6,000. It was labeled as a Decade Volcano due to its simultaneous eruptions and its proximity to areas which are populated. It is one of Philippines’ most active volcanoes and is also included in the Pacific ring of fire.
The Taal Volcano and Lake is found in the province of Batangas and is split into two. The northern half of it belongs to the town of Talisay while the southern half is for San Nicolas. The Taal Lake is also surrounded by the towns of Balete, Santa Teresita, Alitagtag, Talisay, Tanauan, Cuenca and MataasnaKahoy. The whole of Volcano Island was declared by the PHIVOLCS ( Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) as a Permanent Danger Zone. They prohibited any settlement in the said island. But despite all of that, there are still are some people who are risking their lives by residing in the area. Most of these are poor families who make a living through fishing and farming in the volcano’s rich soil.
There are 33 eruptions of the Taal volcano recorded in the history of Philippines since 19572. The first was in 1572 when Augustinian friars established Taal town. The second was a mild eruption taking place in 1591 which featured great masses of smoke coming from the crater. But during 1605 to 1611 the volcano was having great activities. Out of fear Father Torna de Abreu erected a huge wooden cross on brink of its crater.
The center of activities transferred from the crater to other parts of the island itself between 1707 and 1731. In 1715 the eruptions ensued in the BinitiangMunti crater. Also minor eruptions occurred from this crater to the western end of the island in the years 1709 and 1729. On September 24, 1716, a very violent activity occurred destroying the whole southeastern parts of the crater located at the opposite of Mount Macolod. Another remarkable eruption was the 1731 activity where the explosion itself created an island at eastern side of the island. The greatest known eruption of Taal Volcano occurred in 1754. It lasted for 200 days from May 15 to December 1.
After the year 1754 the Taal remained silent for a period of 54 years. Although it had minor activities 1790, the volcano did not erupt violently until March 1808. This eruption was as great as the 1754 eruption. It dramatically changed the shape of the crater’s interior. It had widened the crater and reduced the pond inside it. The crater walls also has diminished due to this powerful eruption.
Recently, since 1977 the volcano has remained quiet again. But there have been signs of minor activities in 1991 presenting seismic and ground fracturing. There are also mud pots and geysers seen across the island taking formation. Because of this the PHIVOLCS has been issuing notices about seismic unrest warning the few people living in Taal.