No volcanic quake but Taal Volcano continues to emit steam plumes: Phivolcs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2021 09:41 AM

No volcanic quake but Taal Volcano continues to emit steam plumes: Phivolcs 1
Taal Volcano emits steam-laden fumes on May 21, 2021 as it continues activity over the past week. Val Cuenca, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - No volcanic earthquake was detected on Taal Volcano over the past 24 hours but its main crater continued to show activity, including the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids that generated plumes as high as 2,000 meters, the state seismology bureau reported Saturday.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, Phivolcs said low-lever background tremor has persisted at the volcano since April 8. As of Friday, its sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 3,248 tons per day. 

The volcano is still under Alert Level 2, signifying "increased unrest." 

Temperature highs of 71.8°C and a pH level of 1.59, indicating acidity, were last measured from Taal's main crater lake on March 4 and February 12. 

"Ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR monitoring continue to record a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption. These parameters indicate persistent magmatic activity at shallow depths beneath the edifice,” Phivolcs said.

Under the current alert level, "risk of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around the Taal Volcano Island," it said. 

Phivolcs said entry to Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake, must be strictly prohibited. 

The volcano, which sits on an island surrounded by a lake in Batangas province, had a steam-driven eruption on January 12, 2020, triggering an ash fall that reached parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The eruption displaced more than 700,000 people in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna was pegged at P3.4 billion

Taal 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.

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