A diminutive yet agitated volcano located near the city of Manila in the Philippines emitted higher levels of sulfur dioxide and volcanic haze on Friday, leading officials to shut down schools in five cities and numerous towns and advising individuals to remain indoors.
The institute responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in the state reported the presence of rising hot volcanic fluids in the crater lake of Taal volcano, which led to the release of volcanic gases.
The warning stayed at a level 1 out of 5, indicating a small uptick in volcanic tremors and gas or steam emissions.
Situated in a beautiful lake within Batangas province, close to Manila, Taal is one of the 24 active volcanoes in the Philippines, measuring 311 meters (1,020 feet).
In January 2020, the volcano erupted, releasing a tall column of ash and steam reaching up to 15 km (9.32 miles) in height. This resulted in the evacuation of over 100,000 individuals and numerous flight cancellations due to the heavy ash fall reaching as far as Manila.
According to Randy Dela Paz, head of operations at the civil defence’s southern Manila office, there are cases of respiratory illnesses reported in Batangas province caused by inhaling volcanic smog. This statement was made during an interview with DWPM radio.
Volcanic smog, also known as vog, is composed of tiny drops containing sulfur-based volcanic gases that can lead to discomfort in the eyes, throat, and respiratory system.
Classes on Friday were cancelled in multiple towns and cities in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas provinces, as well as in five cities in the nearby capital region, due to the proximity of Taal volcano.
On Friday, the aviation authority warned pilots to steer clear of the volcano’s peak due to potential dangers from flying debris and ash caused by sudden eruptions.
The country of the Philippines is located in the Pacific region known as the “Ring of Fire,” which experiences frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.