102 quakes recorded in Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Published May 19, 2021, 11:09 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Taal Volcano’s status remains “unstable” on Wednesday, May 19, due to a continuous increase in the number of detected earthquakes, as well as sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.

In the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded 102 earthquakes, including 16 low-frequency earthquakes and 86 tremor events having durations of one to 22 minutes and low-level background tremor that has persisted since April 8, 2021.

The activity at the Taal Volcano’s main crater was dominated by the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake, which generated 300-meter tall but weak plumes that drifted to the southwest.

SO2 emission averaged 3,256 tonnes per day on Tuesday, May 18, from 2,214 tonnes per day on Monday, May 17.

“Nagpapahiwatig na yung magma nasa mababaw na parte ng Taal Volcano less than 2 kilometers at ito ang nagbubuga ng gas nang marami kaya kailangan pag ingatan natin ang Taal Volcano,” Science and Technology Undersecretary and Phivolcs OIC Renato Solidum said in a Teleradyo interview.

(It indicates that the magma is in the shallow part of Taal Volcano, about less than 2 kilometers. It is emitting a great deal of gas so we need to take extra precaution).

TAAL VOLCANO (FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Phivolcs said Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 2 due to “increased unrest” but noted that “elevated unrest” has been recurring and volcano conditions remain unstable.

Solidum warned the public from entering the volcano island, which is a permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and Daang Kastila fissure.

“Dalawa ang pagsabog na pwede nating paghandaan una, dahil nga masyado mainit ang lawa ng Taal at pinapakuluan niya yung tubig posible magkaroon ng phreatic o steam-driven explosion. Diyan lang naman yan sa isla ang epekto pero pag biglang umangat ang magma baka mas malala pa ang explosion so babantayan natin yung tinatawag nating magmatic eruption yung paglabas ng bagong magma,” he explained.

(There are two explosions that we have to prepare for. Because Taal Lake is very hot, there is a possibility of a phreatic or steam-driven explosion that may affect the island. But when the magma suddenly rises, the explosion could be even worse. So we have to watch out for possible magmatic eruption or the release of new magma).

“Nung January [2020] nagsimula siya sa maliit na steam-driven explosion dahil nga parang natanggal yung takip ay biglang umakyat yung magma at naging mas malakas ang pagsabog,” Solidum pointed out.

(In January 2020, Taal Volcano’s eruption started with a small steam-driven explosion. It was as if the lid had been removed then the magma suddenly rose and produced an explosive eruption).

Phivocls reminded the public that boating on Taal Lake is strictly prohibited.

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

Civil aviation authorities were also asked to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.

 
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