Increased degassing activity monitored in Taal — Phivolcs
October 12, 2023 | 7:44pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported Thursday an increase in degassing activity from Taal Volcano in Batangas.
In an advisory, Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano emitted 9,762 tons of volcanic sulfur dioxide per day Thursday. This was the highest recorded emission from Taal this year.
The volcano has been continuously releasing high concentrations of sulfur dioxide since March 2021, with emissions averaging 3,781 tons per day since September 2023.
“Visual monitors show continued pronounced upwelling of volcanic fluids in the main crater that generated rather short and weak to moderate volume degassing plumes,” Phivolcs said.
The state seismologists noted that while no volcanic smog or vog was observed today, the chances for volcanic sulfur dioxide to accumulate and generate vog would increase if the elevated degassing and decreased wind speeds continue.
Vog can lead to irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract, with the severity depending on the gas concentrations and the duration of exposure.
Individuals with health conditions such as asthma, lung disease, and heart disease, as well as the elderly, pregnant women, and children, may be particularly sensitive to vog.
Communities affected by vog are advised to avoid outdoor activities, stay indoors, cover their noses and stay hydrated. Those experiencing severe effects from vog should seek assistance from a doctor or the barangay health unit.
Phivolcs added that acid rain can be generated during periods of rainfall and volcanic gas emission in areas where the plume disperses, potentially causing damage to crops and affecting metal roofs of houses and buildings.
Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 1, which means that it is still in “abnormal condition and should not be interpreted to have ceased unrest nor ceased the threat of eruptive activity.”