Active degassing activity in Taal Volcano crater ongoing


Posted at Jun 07 2023 12:00 PM

Steam plumes rise from the main crater of Taal Volcano as seen from Laurel, Batangas on August 15, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.
Steam plumes rise from the main crater of Taal Volcano as seen from Laurel, Batangas on August 15, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA — An active degassing activity on the Taal Volcano crater has been observed over the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Wednesday. 

In an 11 a.m. bulletin, state seismologists said the activity was in a form of visible upwelling of volcanic fluids in the main crater lake and generation of voluminous steam-rich plumes that rose 2,000 meters above Taal Volcano island. 

Significant volcanic smog, also known as vog, has formed over Taal caldera and its surrounding areas since Tuesday, it added. 

Based on the figures showed by the agency, an average of 7,680 tons per day of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) was emitted by Taal volcano yesterday lower than the 9,193 tons per day on Monday. 

Phivolcs said Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 1 and "should not be interpreted to have ceased unrest nor ceased the threat of eruptive activity." 

With the ongoing active degassing activity, the agency warned that vog can be expected to persist over the Taal region, weak wind movement and humid atmospheric conditions would also prevail.

"As a reminder, vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract with severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure," the agency said. 

"People who may be particularly sensitive to vog are those with health conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease, the elderly, pregnant women and children. For communities that can be affected by vog, please be mindful of the following," it added.

With this, here are some reminders from the agency: 

*Limit your exposure. Avoid outdoor activities, stay indoors and shut doors and windows to block out vog. 

*Protect yourself. Cover your nose, ideally with an N95 facemask. Drink plenty of water to reduce any throat irritation or constriction. If belonging to the particularly sensitive group of people above, watch over yourself and seek help from a doctor or the barangay health unit if needed, especially If serious effects are experienced.

Acid rain can be generated during periods of rainfall and volcanic gas emission over areas where the plume disperses, causing damage to crops and affecting metal roofs of houses and buildings, it added.

Phivolcs earlier detected low-level activity in Taal Volcano noting that the Daang Kastila fissure in the volcano generated weak and shallow but continuous tremors since Friday.


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