Up to P24.4 million has been damaged to fisheries and crops in some parts of Batangas due to the sulfur emission by Taal Volcano.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), more than P2 million was damaged to cassava, calamansi, and rice crops, while P22.3 million to fisheries. Injuries were recorded in the towns of Agoncillo, Laurel, and Talisay.
According to Dennis Arpia, assistant director of the DA’s agribusiness and marketing service, they still have areas that have not been visited, but they hope that the sulfur will not cause more serious damage unless there is an ashfall.
“Mainit kasi yung asupre, mainit yung ano niya sa mga halaman kaya nasusunog talaga siya,” said Arpia.
In Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo, the cassava was dead and could no longer be used, so they were just pulled out.
Alert Level 3 (Magmatic Unrest) now prevails over Taal Volcano. At Alert Level 3, magma extruding from the Main Crater could drive explosive eruption.
In the past 24-hour period, the Taal Volcano Network recorded ten (10) volcanic earthquakes, including nine (9) volcanic tremor events having durations of one (1) to six (6) minutes, one (1) low-frequency volcanic earthquake, and low-level background tremor that has persisted since 07 July 2021.
Damage caused by Taal’s sulfur emission reaches P24 million
High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide or SO2 gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that rose nine hundred (900) meters before drifting northeast was generated from the Taal Main Crater.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission averaged 2,441 tonnes/day on 18 July 2021. Based on ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS, and InSAR monitoring, Taal Volcano Island has begun deflating in April 2021 while the Taal region continues to undergo very slow extension since 2020.
The public is reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and entry into the island as well as into the high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur.
All activities on Taal Lake should not be allowed at this time. Communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify.
Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying over Taal Volcano Island as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and pyroclastic density currents such as base surges may pose hazards to aircraft.