Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano sulfur dioxide reaches another record high for 2023 on November 9

Acor Arceo

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Taal Volcano sulfur dioxide reaches another record high for 2023 on November 9

DEGASSING. Batangas province's Taal Volcano emits gas on November 9, 2023.

Phivolcs

Phivolcs says Taal Volcano emitted 11,499 tons per day of sulfur dioxide on Thursday, November 9

MANILA, Philippines – Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission from Taal Volcano in Batangas province hit a new 2023 high of 11,499 tons per day on Thursday, November 9.

That surpassed the 9,762 tons per day recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) last October 12.

Phivolcs said in an advisory on Thursday that Taal Volcano has been “continuously degassing high concentrations” of SO2 – a major gas component of magma – since March 2021.

Since September 2023, emissions have averaged 5,019 tons per day.

On Thursday, the upwelling or rising of volcanic fluids generated weak to moderate plumes, according to Phivolcs.

There was no volcanic smog or vog in the Taal area observed during the day. But Phivolcs warned that winds could weaken late Thursday or on Friday, November 10, “which may lead to potential SO2 accumulation and vog formation.”

“As a reminder, vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract,” the agency said.

People with respiratory and heart illnesses, the elderly, pregnant women, and children are most vulnerable to vog.

Phivolcs advised those affected by vog to stay indoors, shut doors and windows, use N95 face masks, and seek medical help if needed.

In recent months, vog had caused illnesses and disrupted classes in parts of Batangas and nearby areas.

Phivolcs also noted that Taal has shown “moderate seismicity,” with 415 volcanic earthquakes recorded since September 1. Of these, 362 were “weak volcanic tremors associated with volcanic gas activity.”

Taal has been under Alert Level 1 or “in abnormal condition” since July 11, 2022. “Sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas” are possible.

Entry into Taal Volcano Island, a permanent danger zone, remains prohibited. – Rappler.com

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.