Philippines Warns Taal Volcano May Erupt as Gas Emissions Surge

The Philippines’ volcanology agency warned that the Taal volano may erupt anytime, flagging record volumes of gas emissions, localized quakes, and rumblings from the peak to the south of the capital, Manila.

“The highest levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide, or SO2 gas emission, was recorded today at an average of 22,628 tonnes/day, the highest ever recorded in Taal,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in a statement. A total of 26 “strong and very shallow, low-frequency volcanic earthquakes” were recorded, some accompanied by rumblings, it said.

An eruption similar to that on July 1 may occur anytime, the institute said in the statement. On that day, the authorities raised the local alert to level 3 after an eruption from Taal’s main crater generated a dark, jetted plume about 1 kilometer high, according to an earlier statement.

Pilots are advised to avoid flying over the volcano as ash and fragments may pose hazards to aircraft, it said.

The government has already evacuated hundreds of nearby residents, while working to hasten delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to affected villages to avert coronavirus infections in evacuation centers.

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