Weak phreatomagmatic eruptions continue in Taal Volcano

Weak phreatomagmatic eruptions continue in Taal Volcano

MANILA – At least five short phreatomagmatic bursts caused by the interaction of magma and water occurred in the Taal Volcano from Thursday to early Friday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

These were logged Thursday at 06:47 a.m., 06:06 p.m., 09:21 p.m., and 09:50 p.m; and 02:59 a.m. Friday. Phivolcs said that short, jetted plumes that rose to 200 meters were produced above the Main Crater Lake.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr. earlier said the eruption is “weak” if the eruption column is not high. The height of the eruption column in January 2020 was around 15 kilometers.

Meantime, 58 volcanic earthquakes caused by movement or eruptions of magma from the volcano were recorded in the past 24 hours.
The figure includes five explosion-type earthquakes, 24 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and 27 volcanic tremor events that lasted 1 to 6 minutes, and two hybrid earthquakes which indicate rock fracturing and magma or fluid movement.

The volcano also continues to emit high levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas, and steam-rich plumes that reach 1,200 meters high. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) SO2 emission averaged 6,095 tonnes/day on Thursday.

Taal Volcano has been under alert level 3 (magmatic unrest) since July 1, as magma extruding from the Main Crater could drive explosive eruption.

Phivolcs has recommended evacuation at the Taal Volcano Island (TVI), Taal Lake, and villages in the towns of Agoncillo (Banyaga, Bilibinwang), and Laurel (Gulod, Boso-Boso, Lakeshore Bugaan East) due to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time, Phivolcs said.

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.

Volcanic smog is a type of air pollution caused by volcanoes. It 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. (PNA)

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