Taal Volcano

5 Taal Volcano phreatic eruptions occur on April 12 as sulfur dioxide stays high

Acor Arceo

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5 Taal Volcano phreatic eruptions occur on April 12 as sulfur dioxide stays high

PHREATIC ERUPTION. A steam-driven or phreatic eruption is seen from Taal Volcano's main crater in Batangas on April 12, 2024.


(1st UPDATE) Phivolcs sees Taal Volcano's 'continued emission of hot volcanic gases' as the likely cause of phreatic or steam-driven activity

MANILA, Philippines – Five phreatic or steam-driven eruptions occurred at Taal Volcano in the province of Batangas on Friday, April 12, with the first eruption generating “a white steam-laden plume” 2,400 meters or 2.4 kilometers tall.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in an advisory that the first eruption happened from 5:11 am to 5:24 am.

“The phreatic event was likely driven by the continued emission of hot volcanic gases at the Taal Main Crater and could be succeeded by similar phreatic activity,” added Phivolcs.

The agency later said in a Facebook post that four more steam-driven eruptions occurred from 9:45 am to 3:22 pm. These came from “a new vent on the southwest side of the Taal Main Crater” and produced plumes 100 to 300 meters high.

On Thursday, April 11, the volcano’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission averaged 9,677 tons per day, which is considered a high level.

Since January, SO2 emission has been averaging 10,248 tons per day.

Phivolcs warned on Friday that communities around the Taal Caldera face “the threat of potential long-term health impacts” since they are “frequently exposed to volcanic gas.”

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

“Local government units are advised to continuously monitor and assess preparedness of their communities and undertake appropriate response measures to mitigate hazards that could be posed by long-term degassing and related phreatic activity,” the agency said.

While SO2 remains elevated, Phivolcs has observed only “background levels of volcanic earthquake activity and ground deformation,” which indicate the unrest “is unlikely to progress into magmatic eruption.”

Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 1 or “in abnormal condition” since July 11, 2022.

Under Alert Level 1, these are possible:

  • sudden phreatic explosions
  • volcanic earthquakes
  • minor ashfall
  • lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas

Phivolcs still recommends the prohibition of entry into Taal Volcano Island. – 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.