Public warned vs Taalâs sulphur dioxide emission
Phivolcs said the gas emissions peaked at 9,911 tons per day on June 10, the highest recorded in the Taal Volcano network.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Public warned vs Taal’s sulphur dioxide emission

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Elevated levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide emission that are harmful to humans and crops have been monitored in Taal Volcano, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Phivolcs said the gas emissions peaked at 9,911 tons per day on June 10, the highest recorded in the Taal Volcano network.

“The unprecedented high level of sulphur dioxide flux during this period of seismic quiescence warns the public not only of continued magmatic unrest but also of the direct impact of volcanic gas on downwind populations and local economies around Taal Lake,” the agency said in an advisory.

Since sulphur dioxide is an acidic gas that may cause ill effects, residents were advised to limit exposure to the outdoors and wear N95 face masks for protection.

Residents were also advised to drink plenty of water to reduce throat irritation or constriction and seek medical help if they experience serious symptoms.

The gas may irritate the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract, with severities dependent on the gas concentration and duration of exposure.

People with health conditions such as asthma as well as lung and heart disease, the elderly, pregnant women and children may be more sensitive to ill effects.

The peak measurements were obtained during a period of vigorous upwelling in the main crater Lake that generated 1.5-kilometer-tall steam plumes.

Phivolcs said Barangays Banyaga, Bilibinwag and Subic Ilaya in Agoncillo, Batangas reported that residents experienced throat irritation and observed vegetation kill in crops and plants.

Taal remains on Alert Level 2 or increased unrest.

Phivolcs said no volcanic earthquake was detected in the past 24 hours, but low-level background tremor has persisted since April 8.

Sulphur dioxide emissions averaged 4,673 tons per day on Friday.

The threat of sudden steam- or gas-driven explosion and lethal accumulation or expulsion of volcanic gas can occur.

Entry into Taal Volcano island remains prohibited.

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