July 4, 2021

Phivolcs reports that the sulfur emissions from Taal Volcano were at their peak on Sunday

In a statement issued at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the Taal Volcano had recorded “anomalously high” volcanic SO2 (sulfur oxide) gas emission on Saturday.

The amount of volcanic SO2 gas emitted was measured at an average rate of 22,628 tonnes per day, the highest level ever recorded in the Taal volcanic field.

Volcanic earthquakes linked with magmatic degassing have been reported under the eastern sector of the volcano island since midnight, for a total of 26 powerful and extremely shallow low-frequency volcanic earthquakes since midnight.

“Fish cage keepers off the northern shorelines of Volcano Island claimed that some of these earthquakes were accompanied by rumbling and were only faintly felt. “These observation characteristics may suggest that an eruption comparable to the one that occurred on July 1, 2021, may occur at any moment in the near future,” the Phivolcs report said.

Because Alert Level 3 is still in effect and current SO2 parameters indicate that magmatic extrusion at the main crater is continuing, Phivolcs strongly advised that Taal Volcano Island and the high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang and Banyaga in Agoncillo town; and Boso-Boso, Gulod, and Bugaan East in Laurel, remain evacuated due to the potential hazards of pyroclastic deton

Everyone should remember that the whole Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone and that entering the island as well as the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be strictly forbidden.

Phivolcs advised everyone that during this time period, no activities on Taal Lake should be permitted.

In the warning, it was said that residents in the vicinity of Taal Lake should “be attentive, take preventive measures against potential airborne ash and vog (volcanic smog), and calmly prepare for a possible evacuation should disturbance develop.”

Local government entities were also urged to perform health inspections on communities impacted by vog in order to evaluate the degree of SO2 effects on their constituents and to consider temporarily evacuating people who were significantly exposed to safer environments.

Pilots should avoid flying above Taal Volcano Island, according to civil aviation officials, since airborne ash and ballistic pieces from abrupt explosions and pyroclastic density currents such as base surges may pose a threat to aircraft.

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