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Taal, Mayon volcanoes calm down – Phivolcs

TAAL and Mayon volcanoes have calmed down, at least for now, after showing signs of activity, which prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to raise their alert levels to 1 and 2 respectively.

Phivolcs Director Teresito “Toto” Bacolcol told The Manila Times via Viber that they were continuously monitoring the movements of the two volcanoes from Batangas and Albay provinces and other “parameters like seismicity and ground deformation.”

A fisherman catch fish at the Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas on March 26, 2021. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

In Taal Volcano, he said tremors were detected last week and were “still on-going and its main crater spewed out steam that was 1,800-2,000 meters high.”

While the degassing activity is still active, Taal's sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was at 7,680 tons, lower than the 9,391 tons per day on June 5 when its alert status was raised to Level 1, the Phivolcs chief said.

Similarly, Bacolcol said rock fall, which prompted the agency to raise the alert status to 2, had decreased.

“Between 5 a.m. yesterday, (June 6) and 5 a.m. today (June 7), we recorded only 46 rock fall events, which was lower than the 74 rock fall events we observed from June 5 to June 6,” he said.

He, nonetheless, warned residents to stay away from the two volcanoes as he cited the vog, which consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 that is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract with severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure.

At Alert Level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ash fall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the volcano island, Phivolcs said.

Meanwhile, Mayon Volcano, which is under alert level 2, is in a state of current unrest driven by shallow magmatic processes that could eventually lead to phreatic eruptions or even precede hazardous magmatic eruptions.

Phivolcs reiterated its warning to the public to be vigilant and desist from entering the six kilometer-radius permanent danger zone to minimize risks from sudden explosions, rock fall and landslides.

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