'Vog' persists over Taal Volcano

Published October 2, 2021, 1:24 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


Taal Volcano in Batangas is still emitting a significant level of sulfur dioxide (SO2) causing hazardous volcanic smog or “vog” in the vicinity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as sulfur dioxide 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.

Phivolcs said Taal’s SO2 emission averaged 4,2620 tons when it was last measured on Friday, Oct. 1.

Moreover, it was observed that the activity at the main crater was dominated by the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake which generated plumes 2,800 meters high before drifting northeast and northwest.

In the past 24 hours, a volcanic earthquake was not detected but a low-level background tremor has persisted since July 7.

Due to Taal Volcano’s recent activity, Phivolcs has been warning those living in communities surrounding Taal Lake to protect themselves from the vog.

People particularly sensitive to such ill effects are those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, lung disease, and heart disease, as well as the elderly, pregnant women, and children.

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 2, which means that sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around the volcano island.

The volcano has been under Alert Level 2 since July 23, 2021.

Phivolcs reminded the public that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, is strictly prohibited.

Boating on Taal Lake must also be prohibited, it added.