Philippine volcanologists warn Taal volcano eruption could occur "anytime soon"

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MANILA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Philippine volcanologists warned that an eruption could occur in Taal volcano, south of Manila, "anytime soon" after recording the highest levels of sulfur dioxide gas emission on Sunday.

"The highest levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emission were recorded today at an average of 22,628 tonnes a day, the highest ever recorded in Taal volcano," the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in its latest bulletin.

The institute said the "current sulfur dioxide parameters indicate ongoing magmatic extrusion at the main crater that may further drive succeeding explosions."

The institute said it has recorded "a total of 26 strong and very shallow low-frequency volcanic earthquakes associated with magmatic degassing beneath the eastern sector of Volcano Island."

The institute added that some of the earthquakes were accompanied by rumbling and weakly felt by fish cage caretakers off the northeastern shorelines of the volcano island.

These observation parameters may indicate that an eruption similar to the one on Thursday "may occur anytime soon," the institute said.

The institute raised the alert level to 3 on Taal volcano in Batangas province on Thursday, following a phreatomagmatic eruption that "generated a short-lived dark phreatomagmatic plume one kilometer high."

A phreatomagmatic eruption refers to "an eruption that involves both magma and water, which typically interact explosively."

Meanwhile, local authorities said that more than 5,000 villagers living close to the volcano have been evacuated to the temporary government shelters.

Taal volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, last erupted in January 2020. The last eruption displaced nearly 380,000 villagers and destroyed many farms, houses and roads in the province. Enditem

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