July 5, 2021


Natural disasters have been occurring throughout the world. The main story over the past week has been the heat dome in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. However, other parts of the world are experiencing difficulties because of natural disasters.

The Philippines has been struggling with the Taal Volcano recently. Phivolcs, which is a Philippine national institution dedicated to providing information on volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, has been busy in the past week studying the Taal eruptions.

The primary phreatomagmatic eruption occurred on Thursday, July 1. Four other outbreaks occurred later in the evening. Phreatomagmatic eruptions are explosive, and they happen when magma erupts through the water.

The Taal Volcano is located in the province of Batangas. The area was placed under Alert Level 3 on Thursday following the first explosion.

Details of the Explosion

Phivolcs has been keeping the nation alert during the recent explosions. On Thursday, the agency said Taal’s primary crater “generated a short-lived dark phreatomagmatic plume one kilometer high.”

This occurred at 3:16 PM and lasted until 3:21. This may have only been five minutes, but this is extensive when it comes to phreatomagmatic eruptions. The phreatomagmatic blast occurred at the Taal Volcano because of a magmatic intrusion in the main crater.

This will continue to cause issues in the structure, which is alarming for the region. On Thursday, Maria Antonia Bornas, the Chief of Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, gave an in-depth explanation to the nation.

She said, “The magma and the water in the main crater lake interacted. The water was immediately converted into gas in the form of water vapor. This conversion happened very quickly. Since the magma is extremely hot, the process created what is called a shockwave.”

The four small explosions that followed the five-minute eruption spanned no longer than two minutes. The bursts did not exceed 200 meters in the air. Nevertheless, the addition of these blasts following the major eruption did not help the Batangas region of the Philippines.

The four eruptions happened at 6:26 PM, 7:21 PM, 7:41 PM, and 8:20 PM.

Sulfur Dioxide Spike Contributed

On Monday before the blasts, the Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission was checked. The average from the previous examination was the highest ever at 14,326 tons per day. Bornas stated that the emission was still high on Thursday at 13,287 tons.

Phivolcs had a belief that something was going to cause the volcano to erupt. She stated, “When we started to observe tall plumes and a spike in SO2, we already had a hunch that magma was oozing beneath the main crater lake.”

The high Sulfur Dioxide levels and atmospheric conditions caused air pollution to seep into the areas of Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and the other regions of the Philippines. Phivolcs was worried about the population being exposed because it can irritate eyes, throats, and respiratory systems.

People with preexisting health conditions are more at risk, and it could even cause death. The Alert Level 3 from Phivolcs means that people are recommended to evacuate the area. The island where the Taal Volcano is located in a permanent danger zone, and it’s off-limits to the public.

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