3-km high steam-rich plumes seen anew over Taal Volcano

Published July 6, 2021, 8:49 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

White steam plume over Taal Volcano as seen from Agoncillo, Batangas on Monday, morning, July 5, 2021. Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) following a phreatomagmatic eruption last July 1, 2021. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has observed steam-rich plumes that rose three kilometers over the main crater of the Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours.

“High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that rose as much as 3,000 meters high before drifting south and east were generated from the Taal main crater,” Phivolcs said in its volcano bulletin issued on Tuesday, July 6.

It still detected high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission at an average of 5,299 tonnes per day as of Monday, July 5.

In the past 24 hours, Phivolcs also recorded 39 volcanic earthquakes, including two volcanic tremor events having durations of three to five minutes, 35 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, two hybrid earthquakes and low-level background tremor that has persisted since April 8.

Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano remains on 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.