Phivolcs remains on alert as vog clears over Taal Volcano

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Phivolcs remains on alert as vog clears over Taal Volcano
This handout photo courtesy of X (formerly Twitter) user @markymarksworld on September 22, 2023 shows smog from Taal Volcano hanging over Tagaytay city in Cavite Province. Thousands of people were warned to stay indoors and many schools were shut on September 22 as a thick haze blanketed the Philippine capital and surrounding provinces. A spike in sulphur dioxide emissions from a volcano and a weather phenomenon that traps smog were blamed for the hazardous air enveloping the heavily-populated region.
Handout / Courtesy of X user (formerly Twitter) @markymarksworld / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The thick volcanic smog or "vog" covering Taal Volcano in Batangas for days cleared on Saturday morning, but Phivolcs warned that the volcano's threat persists. 

In an interview on Dobol B TV, Phivolcs Director Dr. Teresito Bacolcol, noted a significant improvement in visibility around Taal Volcano on Satutday.

"'Yung nangyari nu'ng September 21 hanggang kahapon na halos zero visibility na ang Taal Volcano, ngayon, nagki-clear na po, nakikita na ang Taal Volcano.'Yung vog na nag-envelope sa caldera ay nawala na po this morning," Bacolcol said.

(Taal Volcano is now visible, in contrast to the near-zero visibility experienced from last September 21 until yesterday, with the vog that had covered the volcano's caldera dissipating this morning).

"This will be a recurring threat. As long as the Taal Volcano is spewing sulfur dioxide, the threat will always be there," he added.

Vog, composed of fine droplets laden with volcanic gases, including sulfur dioxide, can be particularly hazardous to human health. It is known to cause irritation to the eyes, throat and respiratory tract. 

Over the last 24 hours, sulfur dioxide emissions from Taal Volcano decreased to 2,730 tons per day, down from 4,569 tons per day on Thursday, September 21. 

Bacolcol explained that the quantity of sulfur dioxide emissions does not suggest an imminent eruption.

"Hindi ito nangangahulugan na magkakaroon ng eruption. 'Yung inilalabas na sulfur dioxide ng Taal Volcano, hindi 'yan considered na mataas for Taal Volcano. Hindi lang makaangat dahil sa thermal inversion. The lower part, malamig, nahaharangan ang pag-angkat sa mainit na layer sa atmosphere," he said.

(These factors do not indicate an imminent eruption because the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted by Taal Volcano is not high, and it cannot rise higher due to a thermal inversion where the lower part is cold, and the upper layer is hot.)

The Phivolcs official said that rain could help clear the vog.

"In a way, makakatulong ang mga pag-ulan dahil madaling ma-dissolve ang sulfur dioxide sa tubig. Pwedeng ma-flush out ang vog kapag malakas ang pag-ulan," Bacolcol said.

(Rain can dissolve sulfur dioxide, and heavy rainfall can flush out the vog.)

In its latest update, Phivolcs confirmed that no volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Despite the improvement in visibility, Alert Level 1 (Low-level unrest) remains in effect for Taal Volcano.

Since last Thursday, the volcanic smog prompted local government units in Batangas and nearby areas to take precautionary measures, including suspending classes and work.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with