Fewer volcanic quakes, sulfur emissions observed in Taal

MANILA — Both the volcanic quakes and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions recorded in Taal declined in the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Thursday.

There were 71 volcanic quakes recorded, fewer than the 101 volcanic quakes the previous day.

Volcanic earthquakes are caused by movements or eruption of magma from the volcano, Philvolcs executive director Renato Solidum Jr. earlier explained.

Since earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice, this could lead to eruptive activity at the main crater.

Alert Level 3 is maintained over Taal Volcano.

“Magmatic activity means processes involving magma, which include breaking of rocks and filling of cracks by magma or volcanic gas, movement of magma, and degassing of magma, boiling of underground water by magma,” Solidum said.

Sulfur dioxide emissions, meanwhile, measured 59 tonnes on February 12, still lower than the average 67 tonnes the previous day.

Weak emission of plumes 50 to 100 meters tall has been observed for the third consecutive day.

A weaker eruption, according to Solidum, is based on the height of the plume coming out of the crater. Volcanic plume or eruption plume is a column of hot volcanic ash and gas emitted into the atmosphere during an explosive volcanic eruption.

Phivolcs maintains that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a seven-kilometer radius from the main crater is still strictly prohibited.

People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall and minor earthquakes, it added.

The magma intrusion from below causes the fissures or cracks to form, Solidum said. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA – northboundasia.com