Phivolcs: Taal Volcano belches more steam, sulfur dioxide

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2020 11:50 AM

Ryan Evangelista, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Taal Volcano spewed an increased amount of steam and sulfur dioxide in the past 24 hours, Phivolcs said Saturday.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, the state seismology agency said the emission of white-colored steam had reached 100 to 800 meters high compared to Friday's record of 50 to 500 meters.

The volcano, which sits on an island surrounded by a lake in Batangas province, has also released an average of 409 tons of sulfur dioxide, higher than Friday's 224 tons.

Sulfur dioxide is used to measure if magma is getting closer to the surface.

The volcano had a steam-driven eruption on Jan. 12, triggering an ash fall that reached parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. 

Phivolcs earlier said continued activity at the Taal Volcano showed that magma was churning underneath.

The agency on Saturday kept the danger level of the volcano at alert level 4 out of a possible 5, which means that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”

Data from the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) showed that some 744 volcanic earthquakes have been plotted in the Taal region since Jan. 12. Among these, some 176 were felt, ranging from between Magnitude 1.2 and 4.1 and experienced at between Intensity 1 and 4.

Meanwhile, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the PSN, recorded 420 volcanic earthquakes, including 11 low-frequency earthquakes, in the past 24 hours.

The volcano's eruption in Jan. 12 displaced nearly 350,000 people in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in its Saturday's situational report, said some 37,445 families or 137,994 people were taking temporary shelter in 488 evacuation centers.

Taal Volcano is among 24 active volcanoes in the Philippines and has recorded 33 eruptions since 1572. Its worst eruption was in 1911 where some 1,335 people were killed, data from Phivolcs showed.