More 'phreatomagmatic bursts' observed at Taal Volcano

Published July 9, 2021, 8:13 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

A white steam-laden plume was seen billowing out of Taal Volcano on July 4, 2021. (ALI VICOY / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

A series of phreatomagmatic bursts once again occurred at Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Friday, July 9.

Phivolcs said five short bursts occurred at 6:47 a.m., 06:06 p.m., 09:21 p.m., and 09:50 p.m. Thursday, July 8, and at 2:59 a.m. on Friday.

These events produced short jetted plumes that rose 200 meters above the main crater lake.

In the past 24 hours, Phivolcs also detected 58 volcanic earthquakes, including five explosion-type earthquakes, 24 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, 27 volcanic tremor events having durations of one to six minutes, two hybrid earthquakes, and low-level background tremor that has persisted since July 7.

“High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that rose 1,200 meters before drifting northwest was generated from the Taal main crater,” it added.

As of July 8, the average SO2 emission of Taal Volcano was measured at 6,095 tonnes per day.

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.