Taal Volcano acts up anew

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Taal Volcano acts up anew
Phivolcs said the steam-driven eruption was recorded between 5:11 and 5:24 a.m.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

Phivolcs says Alert Level 1 stays

MANILA, Philippines — A phreatic eruption occurred in Taal Volcano yesterday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Phivolcs said the steam-driven eruption was recorded between 5:11 and 5:24 a.m.

The seismic activity, which produced a white steam-laden plume that reached 2,400 meters, was likely driven by continued emissions of hot volcanic gases in the main crater, Phivolcs said.

The agency warned the public that a similar phreatic activity may occur, but said a magmatic eruption is not likely.

“The background levels of volcanic earthquake and ground deformation detected in Taal indicate that unrest is unlikely to progress into a magmatic eruption,” Phivolcs said.

It said Alert Level 1 would be maintained over Taal, which means the volcano is still in abnormal condition.

Phivolcs warned the public of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas.

Phivolcs said it is monitoring degassing of high concentrations of volcanic sulfur dioxide, which poses long-term health impact to residents near the volcano.

Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 9,677 tons per day on Thursday.

The emissions have been consistently high this year, with an average of 10,248 tons per day since January.

Entry into the main crater and Daang Kastila fissure remains prohibited.

Concerned local government units were advised to monitor and assess the preparedness of their communities as well as undertake response measures. 

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