Intense earthquakes in Taal indicate possible ‘explosive eruption’ — PHIVOLCS

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2020   •   1489

Cracks due to frequent earthquakes can be seen on the roads, houses and some establishments in Batangas.

BATANGAS, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported intense seismic activity in Taal volcano in the past 24 hours.

As of Tuesday (January 14), the agency recorded a total of 212 volcanic earthquakes in the region of Taal, of which, 81 were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I to V in the areas of Tagaytay City, Cavite.

“Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” PHIVOLCS said in its report.

Based on PHIVOLCS’ 24-hour monitoring, Taal Volcano’s main crater has been continuously erupting due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity which generated 500-meter tall lava fountains and about two kilometers tall dark gray steam.

Since the last update, the agency said, heavy ash fall has reportedly fallen on the municipalities of Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas.

Sulfur dioxide emissions blanketed the air which were measured at an average of 5,299 tons per day on Monday (January 13).

PHIVOLCS maintains Alert Level 4 over Taal Volcano which means a possibility of a hazardous explosive eruption is high within hours to days.

Thus, the agency strongly reiterates total evacuation of the entire Taal Volcano Island as well as nearby areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal’s main crater.

Communities north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ash fall.

PHIVOLCS remains in close monitoring of the activities of Taal Volcano and assures the public of up to date information.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, PHIVOLCS OIC Renato Solidum advised the public to be aware of the developments in Taal’s activities as major explosive eruption remains a possibility.

“We need the cooperation of everyone. The scenario of hazardous eruption is a real scenario that has been exhibited by Taal volcano. If we look at those scenarios, the impact is quite significant. Therefore, people need to be reminded that going inside the recommended evacuation zone is a risky business and in reality we need to focus on moving people away from identified areas,” he said.

“The mere fact that we are recording a lot of earthquakes and the fissures are now observed, meaning the entire area of Taal is being pushed by the magma intrusion, that would now be a possible source, if this would reached the surface, for a possible eruption and hopefully it’s not explosive but based on past events, it becomes explosive,” he concluded.

Taal Volcano records more sulfur dioxide emissions; alert level 2 remains

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — High sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission continues at Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

Based on the latest bulletin dated August 23 at 8:00 a.m., SO2 emission averaged 15,416 tonnes per day on August 22.

Vog was observed over the volcano and vicinity. There were also 27  volcanic earthquakes, including 17 volcanic tremor events with durations of two to 22 minutes and 10  low-frequency volcanic earthquakes.

Taal Volcano is still under alert level 2. Phivolcs warned that sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island.

Entry into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone or PDZ must be strictly prohibited.

Local government officials are advised to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.


Phivolcs records high sulfur dioxide emission at Taal Volcano

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — High sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission at Taal volcano was recorded on Thursday (August 19) by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Based on the August 19, 4:30 p.m. bulletin, the measurement of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 flux from the Taal Main Crater totaled 15,347 tonnes per day, marking a rising trend in volcanic SO2 degassing since August 13.

In the same period, tall steam-rich plumes that rose 1,000-3,000 meters were also generated by the Taal Main Crater.

“The high SO2 flux, water vapor emitted in plumes, weak air movement and solar radiation will continue to produce volcanic smog or vog over the Taal region,” Phivolcs reported.

Hazy conditions were also observed over Taal Lake and surrounding municipalities surrounding Taal Lake.

Phivolcs also received reports of adverse effects of the emission on some residents of Talisay and Brgy. Barigon, Agoncillo.

Vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract in severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure.

The agency also reminded the public to limit exposure, avoid outdoor activities, stay indoors, and shut doors and windows.

The public should also cover the nose, ideally with an N95 facemask. Drink plenty of water to reduce any throat irritation or constriction.

Phivolcs recommends that health checks be conducted by local government officials on communities affected by vog to assess the severity of SO2 impacts on their constituents and to consider temporary evacuation of severely exposed residents to safer areas.

Alert Level 2 (Increased Unrest) prevails over Taal Volcano and that the threat of sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal Volcano Island. -AAC

Taal spews steam-rich plumes anew after 16-day pause

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 11, 2021

Taal Volcano’s main crater has again spewed steam-rich plumes on Wednesday (August 11) after a pause of 16 days, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

“Activity at the main crater was dominated by upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake which generated plumes 3,000 meters tall that drifted to the general north,” according to the latest bulletin of Phivolcs.

As of August 9, the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted from the main crater reached 3,849 tonnes/day. There were also 107 volcanic earthquakes recorded over the past 24-hour observation period, including 100 volcanic tremor events which lasted from two to 30 minutes, six low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and one hybrid event.

Alert Level 2 remains over Taal Volcano. Phivolcs stressed that entry into Taal Volcano Island and Taal’s permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited. AAC


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