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Eruption possible as Taal emits 14,699 tonnes of sulfur dioxide –PHIVOLCS

The thousands of tonnes of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emitted by Taal Volcano may signal another eruption, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said Saturday.

In its latest advisory, the PHIVOCLS said the SO2 gas emitted by the Taal averaged 14,699 tonnes per day, the highest ever recorded.

“Kapag masyado pong mataas ang gas tulad ng Lunes at Martes ay posibleng magkaroon ng kasunod na pagsabog,” PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

The volcano was placed under Alert Level 3 on Thursday after an eruption created a kilometer-high phreatomagmatic plume.

“In addition, the increased SO2, coupled with high relative humidities of 79-91% and wind velocities of 0 meters/second over Taal Lake… is also likely to promote the formation of volcanic smog or vog over the lakeshore communities of Batangas Province,” the agency said.

PHIVOLCS advised the evacuation of residents in Taal Volcano Island and the high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang and Banyaga, Agoncillo and Buso-buso, Gulod, and eastern Bugaan, Laurel, Batangas Province.

“The public is reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone, and entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited,” it said.

“All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time. Communities around the Taal Lakeshores are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify,” it added.

The agency also advised local government units to conduct health checks on communities affected by the vog.

Pilots were also warned against flying over Taal Volcano Island due to airborne ash and ballistic fragments from explosions and pyroclastic density currents. — DVM, GMA News