How did you learn about the eruption of Taal Volcano on Jan. 12, 2020? Many of us got alerted in our social media feeds. During the long ride home from the beach, photos of Taal Volcano spewing ash and smoke into the air started showing up on my Facebook account at 2:45 p.m. Searching keywords on Twitter from a credible news source confirmed with the caption “Taal Volcano erupts on Sunday afternoon.”  By 3 p.m.,  I posted on Facebook and Twitter that “Phivolcs raises Alert Level 2 over Taal Volcano as it releases steam in phreatic explosion.”

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is my source of information for alerts that arise from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami and other related geotectonic phenomena. Phivolcs website ( issues comprehensive bulletins. In fact, Phivolcs recorded volcanic earthquakes and provided Alert Level 1 over Taal Volcano beginning March 2019. Looking at the traffic stats on recent posts, only less than 2,000 people read the articles prior to the 2:30 p.m. Taal Volcano bulletin of Alert Level 2 on Jan. 12, 2020. Scrolling down their Twitter timeline, most of the updates prior to the eruption pertained to earthquakes recorded around the Philippines.

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