Taal Volcano logs 31 quakes, emits 2.5-km high steam-rich plumes in past 24 hours

Published July 4, 2021, 9:12 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Steam-rich plume was seen billowing out of Taal Volcano on July 3, 2021. Photo was taken from Agoncillo, Batangas. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday, July 4, continued to detect volcanic earthquakes and high sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from Taal Volcano.

In the past 24 hours, Phivolcs recorded 31 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and low-level background tremor that has persisted since April 8.

The emission of high levels of SO2 caused steam-rich plumes that rose up to 2.5 kilometers from the Taal’s main crater.

SO2 emission was measured at an average of 14,699 tonnes per day on Saturday, July 3.

In addition, vog or volcanic smog was observed over Taal Volcano and its immediate vicinity.

Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 3 due to continuous “magmatic unrest.”

“At Alert Level 3, magma extruding from the Main Crater could drive explosive eruption,” Phivolcs said.

The public is prohibited from entering the entire Taal Volcano Island, which is a permanent danger zone.

Phivolcs also advised those in the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas to evacuate due to hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami in case strong eruptions occur.

“All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time,” it added.

Communities around the Taal lakeshores were also advised to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog.

Phivolcs asked residents around Taal Lake to “calmly” prepare for possible evacuation should Taal Volcano’s unrest intensifies.