The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Wednesday said the main crater of the Taal Volcano in Batangas resumed degassing and emitting steam-rich plumes after a pause of 16 days.
In its 8 a.m. advisory yesterday, Phivolcs reported that a sulfur dioxide flux of 3,849 tons per day was last measured on Aug. 9.
Some 107 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the past 24-hour observation period.
“Alert Level 2 currently prevails over Taal Volcano,” Phivolcs said.
It strongly recommended that entry must be strictly prohibited into Taal Volcano Island, a permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake.
More degassing has been observed in Taal 19 days after its alert status was lowered into Level 2 (decreased unrest), according to Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr.
“Degassing did not really stop as sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission is measured every day. However, degassing is more significant today as upwelling of gas was evident in the main crater lake, which produced the steam-rich plume,” Solidum told the Philippine News Agency.
According to Phivolcs, the degassing of steam-rich plumes “paused” for 16 days. Seeing the steam-rich plumes again means there is more degassing now than in previous weeks, he said.
For the past 24 hours, the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids generated plumes 3,000 meters tall. SO2 emission, on the other hand, averaged 3,849 tonnes on August 9.
At least 107 volcanic earthquakes caused by movement or eruptions of magma from the volcano were recorded for the past 24 hours. The figure includes 100 volcanic tremors that lasted from 2 to 30 minutes; six low frequency volcanic quakes; and one hybrid event.
A hybrid earthquake indicates rock fracturing and magma or fluid movement.
Taal Volcano has been under alert level 2 since July 23. 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 the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).
Phivolcs reiterates that entry into the TVI must be strictly prohibited, especially in the vicinity of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.
Local government units are also advised to assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest.