Alert level 3 raised over Taal following “nearly continuous phreatomagmatic activity”

PHIVOLCS “strongly recommends” evacuation from high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang, Banyaga, others

(Eagle News) — The alert level over Taal has been raised to 3 following what the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said was “nearly continuous phreatomagmatic activity that generated plumes 1500 m accompanied by volcanic earthquake and infrasound signals.”

According to PHIVOLCS, the phreatomagmatic activity followed a “short-lived phreatomagmatic burst.”

With the raising of the alert level from alert level 2, PHIVOLCS said this means that there’s “magmatic intrusion at the main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions.”

PHIVOLCS strongly recommended for the residents on Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang and Banyaga, Agoncillo and Boso-boso, Gulod and eastern Bugaan East, Laurel, Batangas Province to be evacuated “due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should stronger eruptions subsequently occur.”

“The public is reminded that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and entry into the island as well as high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel must be prohibited,” PHIVOLCS said.

It said 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,” PHIVOLCS said.

PHIVOLCS urged civil aviation authorities 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.”

“DOST-PHIVOLCS maintains its close monitoring of Taal Volcano and any new development will be communicated to all concerned stakeholders,” PHIVOLCS said.

In a March 23 advisory, PHIVOLCS said 2015 volcanic tremors had been recorded in Taal since February 13.

“Overall seismic energy release has markedly increased since yesterday afternoon compared to previous seismic swarms,” the advisory had said.

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