Taal Volcano emits ‘anomalously’ high volcanic SO2 gas

Maris Federez   •   July 5, 2021   •   486

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday issued a public notice of what it calls an “anomalously high volcanic SO2 gas emission from Taal Volcano.”

Phivolcs said the highest levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emission were recorded Sunday at an average of 22,628 tonnes/day, the highest ever recorded in Taal.

A total of 26 strong and very shallow low-frequency volcanic earthquakes associated with magmatic degassing has been recorded beneath the eastern sector of Volcano Island on Sunday.

“These observation parameters may indicate that an eruption similar to the 1 July 2021 event may occur anytime soon,” the state volcanologists said.

The agency reiterated its reminder to the public that Alert Level 3 prevails over Taal Volcano and that current SO2 parameters indicate ongoing magmatic extrusion at the Main Crater that may further drive succeeding explosions.

Phivolcs also said that it strongly recommends Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang and Banyaga, Agoncillo and Boso-Boso, Gulod and eastern Bugaan East, Laurel, Batangas Province remain evacuated.

The agency said this is due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should stronger eruptions subsequently occur.

The public is, likewise, reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and that entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of the towns of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited.

All activities on Taal Lake are also prohibited at this time, and that residents around the Taal Lake shores “are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify.”

Phivolcs also advised local government units to conduct health checks on communities affected by vog to assess the severity of SO2 impacts on them and to evacuate severely exposed residents to safer areas due to the unprecedented high SO2 degassing from Taal Main Crater.

Taal Volcano Island is still a no-fly zone as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and pyroclastic density currents such as base surges may pose hazards to aircraft, Phivolcs said.—/mbmf

Phivolcs records sequence of earthquakes in Bicol region

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) has recorded a sequence of small earthquakes in the Bicol region following a small shallow-seated earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 and depth of 4 kilometers occurred at 10:08 p.m. on October 14.

The location of the epicenter of the 4.3 magnitude quake was determined to be at 13.65 north latitude and 123.14 east longitude or at 3 kilometers North and 75 kilometers west of Canaman, Camarines Sur.

A total of 27 earthquakes were recorded by the nearest DOST-Phivolcs earthquake monitoring station located in San Jose, Camarines Sur (Station Code: SCSP).

Magnitude ranges from 1.7 to 4.3 with crustal shallow depths between 1 to 40 kilometers.

The last recorded event associated with this earthquake sequence was at 1:22 a.m. on Monday, October 18.

There was no similar event that followed as of 6:00 a.m.

Phivolcs also recorded ten events that were felt at various intensities in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Albay.

Calculation of the intensity distribution for the first event was performed using the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (Redas) software using the latest calculated parameters of the earthquake, according to the statement released by the DOST.

Results show that the magnitude and shallow depth of this inland event has the potential to cause damage in the general vicinity of the epicenter.

The department said it immediately informed the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) about this during the information release of the first event.

The DOST also noted that social media posts indicate that the event was widely felt with unconfirmed observations of non-structural damage (glass door was damaged) and damage to building content.

This prompted OCD to instruct their regional office to investigate the reported damage in the affected areas.

DOST-Phivolcs said that based on the collected data, this sequence of events, showing no identifiable large event, can be considered as an earthquake swarm that may occur in a tectonically active region, as suggested by sparse seismicity in this area of the Bicol region.

DOST-Phivolcs said it will closely monitor any progress of this earthquake activity and will continue to post updated information at the Phivolcs Official website.

Magnitude 5.2 earthquake hits Calatagan, Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2021

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Calatagan, Batangas at 2:14 a.m. on Friday (October 8), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The quake has a depth of 131 kilometers and Intensity II was felt by residents in Calatagan.

Phivolcs said the earthquake was an aftershock of the magnitude 6.6 quake that occurred in the same area on July 24, 2021.

No damage was reported and no further aftershocks are expected. AAC

 

Taal Volcano records high-level of sulfur dioxide

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Taal Volcano has emitted a record-high level of sulfur dioxide (SO2) on Tuesday (October 5), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Based on the latest bulletin of Phivolcs, the volcano spewed out 25,456 tons of SO2 dominated by upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake. The volcanic activity also generated plumes 1,500 meters tall that drifted northwest and northeast.

Alert Level 2 remains over Taal Volcano. Phivolcs reminds the public that at Alert Level 2, sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).

Phivolcs has recommended that entry into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ must be strictly prohibited, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake. AAC

 

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