Taal in ‘abnormal condition’ but ‘magmatic eruption’ unlikely

2024 June 25

Taal Volcano (Phivolcs photo)

MANILA – A two-minute weak steam-driven or phreatic eruption that produced 600-meter high plumes occurred at the Taal Main Crater at 9:30 p.m. Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported Tuesday.

The activity was likely driven by the continued emission of hot volcanic gases at the Taal Main Crater and could be succeeded by similar events.

Phreatic eruption occurs when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by volcanic activity.

Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol earlier said phreatic eruptions recorded since April are driven by hot volcanic gases.

Phivolcs, in an advisory, said the volcanic earthquake activity and ground deformation detected at Taal indicate that unrest is unlikely to progress into magmatic eruption or eruption driven by magma coming from deep down the volcano.

Alert Level 1 is maintained over the Taal Volcano, which means it is in abnormal condition.

Meanwhile, Phivolcs also reported that the sulfur dioxide emission (SO2) emission averaged 4,641 tonnes last June 20, but the average SO2 emissions since January remain high at 7,967 tonnes/day.

Sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island (TVI) — Taal’s permanent danger zone.

“Degassing of high concentrations of volcanic SO2 continues to pose the threat of potential long-term health impacts to communities around Taal Caldera that are frequently exposed to volcanic gas,” the advisory read.

Phivolcs reminded the public to refrain from entering the TVI. 

Ma. Cristina Arayata (PNA)