Taal Volcano emits over 9,000 tons of sulfur dioxide; records 55 quakes in 24 hours

Published October 23, 2021, 10:14 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Taal Volcano (PNA FILE PHOTO)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) continued to detect earthquakes and high sulfur emissions at Taal Volcano in Batangas in the past 24 hours.

In its volcano bulletin on Saturday, Oct. 23, Phivolcs said Taal Volcano had 55 earthquakes, which include nine volcanic tremor events having a duration of one to two minutes, 46 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and a low-level background tremor that has persisted since July 7.

Moreover, the activity at the main crater was still dominated by the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake which generated plumes 1,200 meters high.

Phivolcs said Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission reached 9,451 tons on Oct. 22.

“Based on ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR monitoring, Taal Volcano Island has begun inflating in August 2021 while the Taal region continues to undergo very slow extension since 2020,” Phivolcs said.

It reminded the public that Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 2, which means that the current SO2 parameters indicate high levels of magmatic degassing from the main crater that could drive explosive activity.

“At Alert Level 2, 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 TVI,” it pointed out.

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

Phivolcs reiterated that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, which is a permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, is strictly prohibited.

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

Phivolcs advised the concerned local government units to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.