Phivolcs reveals cause of Taal unrest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2021 08:58 AM | Updated as of May 19 2021 10:44 AM

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MANILA - Magma in the shallow parts of Taal Volcano is the cause of elevated unrest on the island, Phivolcs said Wednesday.

Taal Volcano on Tuesday morning emitted steam-laden plumes that rose to 300 meters following the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake and active degassing from fumaroles on the main crater, the agency said.

The volcano remains under alert level 2, the second-lowest in a 5-step system, which warns of probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption, state seismologists said.

"Napapansin natin mataas ang konsentrasyon o laki ng pagbuga ng sulfur dioxide gas. Ang pagkakaroon ng lindol minsan marami, minsan kaunti. Nagpapahiwatig ito na yung magma ay nasa mababang part ng Taal Volcano at ito po ang nagbubuga ng gas nang madami," Phivolcs officer-in-charge Renato Solidum told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We have observed that the concentration or emission of sulfur dioxide is too big. The earthquakes are sometimes many, somes few. It means that the magma is in the shallow parts of Taal Volcano and that it is emitting gas in large quantity.)

The public is warned against going to the volcano island as two eruptions -- a steam-driven or a magmatic eruption -- could occur, he added.

"D'yan lang naman sa isla ang epekto. 'Pag biglang umangat ang magma, baka mas malala pa ang explosion. So binabantayan natin ang tinatawag nating magmatic eruption o paglabas ng bagong magma," he said.

(The island will be the only one affected. But if magma rises, the explosion might be worse. So we're looking out for a magmatic eruption or the release of new magma.)

"Nung January (2020) nagsimula siya sa maliit na steam-driven explosion. Dahil natanggal ang parang takip, umakyat ang magma at mas naging malakas ang pagsabog."

(In January, the explosion began as a steam-driven one. Because it took off the lid, magma rose and the explosion was stronger.)

The eruption had 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, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.