TAAL Volcano continues to emit high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) for the past 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported Thursday.
An average of 3,755 tons of SO2 was recorded on July 14. The figure, however, is lower compared to the average 4,184 tonnes and 6,134 tonnes recorded last July 13 and July 12, respectively.
Prolonged exposure to SO2 may cause sore throat and difficulty in breathing, according to the Department of Health.
The steam-rich plumes reached 1,800 meters in height on July 14.
At least 17 volcanic earthquakes caused by movements or eruptions of magma from the volcano were also recorded for the past 24 hours. These included 16 volcanic tremors lasting from 1 to 36 minutes, and one low frequency volcanic quake.
Although few, the volcanic earthquakes recorded are slightly higher than the six volcanic quakes the previous day.
Alert level 3 (magmatic unrest) is maintained over the Taal Volcano, as there is magmatic intrusion at its main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions.
Phivolcs reiterated that entry into the Taal Volcano Island and the high-risk barangays in Agoncillo and Laurel towns must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur.
Likewise, communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and volcanic smog (vog) and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify.
According to the United States Geological Survey, vog poses a health hazard by aggravating preexisting respiratory ailments. Philippine News Agency