Phivolcs Monitors an Increase of Activities in Taal and Mayon, What's Going On?

Here's what's happening in Taal and Mayon Volcanoes.
by Pia Regalado
June 05, 2023

( Two active volcanoes in Luzon were monitored to have increased activities, with Taal Volcano spewing volcanic smog (vog) and Mayon Volcano recording an increase in rockfall in its lava dome, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said Monday, June 5. 

Alert Level 2 was raised in Mayon Volcano, meaning there's an increasing unrest that could lead to steam-driven eruptions. Alert Level 1, or abnormal condition, remains hoisted over Taal Volcano despite reported activities.

To avoid any incidents, aircrafts are prohibited from flying 10,000 feet from the surface of the volcanoes, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said in its notice to airmen this June 5. 

From the archives: What's Happening in Taal Volcano?

What's happening in Taal Volcano, according to Phivolcs

A screenshot of what's happening in Taal Volcano.  
PHOTO BY Phivolcs

Taal Volcano, located in Batangas, south of Metro Manila, has been spewing gas as high as 3,000 meters above the volcano island since Saturday night, Phivolcs said in an advisory released this Monday.

It also monitored one volcanic tremor, which has been ongoing since morning of Friday, June 2, and an upwelling of volcanic fluids in the main crater lake.

Residents in Balete, Laurel, and Agoncillo, Batangas reported the presence of vog this Monday morning, Phivolcs said. Vog is acidic and can cause irritation to the eyes, throat and respiratory tract depending on the length of exposure and the concentration of gas.

It released some 5,831 tons of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas per day last June 1, higher than the last month's average of 3,556 tons per day.

The volcano remains under Alert Level 1, meaning it is still in abnormal condition. If Phivolcs monitors more unrest, Alert Level 2 may be raised.

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Under Alert Level 1, the following hazards can occur:

  • steam-driven or phreatic or gas-driven explosions
  • volcanic earthquakes
  • minor ashfall
  • lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas
  • acid rains, which can be harmful to crops and affect metal roofs

In case of vog, residents are advised to:

  • Limit exposure and avoid outdoor activities by staying indoors and shutting doors and windows to block it out
  • Protect themselves by covering their noses and mouth with masks, ideally with N95 masks, drinking plenty of water to reduce throat irritation

Residents are also reminded that entry into Taal's Volcano Island and Taal's permanent danger zone is still prohibited.

What's happening in Mayon Volcano?

PHOTO BY Phivolcs/Facebook

Alert Level 2 has been raised over Bicol Region's Mayon, the Philippines' most active volcano, Phivolcs said Monday after monitoring an "increasing unrest" with more rockfalls from its summit lava dome.

The rockfalls increased to almost 10 times to 49 events a day from June 4 to 5, from an average of five per day prior.

It monitored a total of 318 rockfall events and 26 volcanic earthquakes since the start of April 2023, Phivolcs said in its notice of raising alert levels. The steep increases in rockfall may lead to further activities, according to Phivolcs.

Raising the alert level means there could be more steam-driven eruptions or even magmatic eruption, Phivolcs said.,

Those living near Mayon are strongly advised not to enter the six-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone to avoid the risks of sudden rockfalls, explosions, even landslides.