Wed. May 18th, 2022

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum Jr. on Wednesday night said the aerosol being observed in Metro Manila possibly came from the Taal Volcano.

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“The possibilities of volcanic SO2 (sulfur dioxide) aerosol affecting Metro Manila cannot be discounted,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

He said based on the air parcel trajectories of the weather bureau on Wednesday, SO2 can be expected to drift within the lower 1.5-kilometer atmosphere to the west of Taal and north over coastal southwest Luzon.

A high level of SO2 emission with an average of 7,830 tons per day was measured in the Taal Volcano on Wednesday.

Strong S02 odors have also been reported in towns west of Volcano Island these past days, Solidum said.

He added that the heavy rains being experienced over the metropolis and southwest Luzon will help scrub off some of the airborne SO2 to lessen its effects.

According to Phivolcs, the S02 gas could irritate the skin, eyes, nose. and throat.

The weather bureau earlier forecast isolated rains across the country due to localized thunderstorms. Rains are likely in the afternoon or evening.

Taal Volcano has been on Alert Level 2 (decreased unrest) since July 23. Under this level, sudden steam or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around the Taal Volcano Island (TVI).

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