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Taal Volcano emits ‘anomalously high’ sulfur dioxide

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UNREST. Active degassing at the Taal Main Crater is seen from 4:50 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 5, 2021). Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 2, with sudden steam or gas-driven explosions and minor ashfall expected. (Screenshot from Phivolcs Facebook)


MANILA – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported on Tuesday night "anomalously high" volcanic sulfur dioxide (S02) from Taal Volcano.


"The highest ever recorded volcanic S02 in Taal was at 25,456 tons/day today," the agency advisory issued at 7 p.m. read.


Phivolcs noted that S02 emission has averaged 8,854 tons/per day since September 27, or when the volcano became "seismically quiet" or not generating a volcanic earthquake in a day.


Volcanic earthquakes are caused by movements or eruptions of magma.


Phivolcs said degassing at the main crater has been visibly moderate to strong, and generated steam-laden plumes as high as 3,000 meters above the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).


Alert Level 2 (decreased unrest) still prevails over Taal Volcano.


Current S02 parameters indicate elevated levels of magmatic degassing from the main crater, which could result in explosive activity.


Phivolcs reiterated that at Level 2, 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 TVI.


Entry into TVI, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, as well as activities on Taal Lake, must be prohibited, Phivolcs advised.


The agency asked local government units to continuously assess and strengthen the preparedness of previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake in case of renewed unrest. (PNA)


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