Taal continues to emit high levels of SO2 gas

Taal continues to emit high levels of SO2 gas

MANILA – Taal Volcano continues to emit high levels sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and steam-rich plumes in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Monday.

In the past 24 hours, Taal generated 17 volcanic earthquakes, including one volcanic tremor that lasted for 45 minutes, and 16 low frequency volcanic earthquakes caused by movements or eruptions of magma from the volcano.

On June 4, the SO2 emission averaged 22,628 tonnes/day — the highest ever recorded in Taal.

Plumes, on the other hand, rose as high as 2,500 meters. Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) since July 1 which means that there is magmatic intrusion at its main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions.

Phivolcs reminded the public that the Taal Volcano Island is a permanent danger zone, and entry into the island as well as into the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel towns must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur.

Phivolcs earlier recommended complete evacuation in the TVI, Taal Lake, Agoncillo, Batangas (Banyaga, Bilibinwang), and Laurel, Batangas (Gulod, Boso-Boso, Lakeshore Bugaan East).

All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed, Phivolcs said on Monday.

Communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and volcanic smog, and prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify.

According to the United States Geological Survey, volcanic smog poses a health hazard by aggravating preexisting respiratory ailments.

Likewise, prolonged exposure to SO2 may cause sore throat and difficulty in breathing, according to the Department of Health. (PNA)

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