The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised an Alert Level 4 over the Taal Volcano on Sunday evening, hours after a phreatic eruption took place at the crater.
In its 7:30 p.m. bulletin, PHIVOLCS explained that Alert Level 4 meant that a hazardous eruption was imminent.
“As of 5:30 p.m., eruptive activity at Taal Volcano Main Crater intensified as continuous eruption generated a tall 10-15 kilometer steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that rained wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City,” the agency said.
PHIVOLCS added that volcanic tremors had been recorded continuously since 11 a.m., with 2.5 and 3.9-magnitude earthquakes rocking Tagaytay City and Alitagtag, Batangas, respectively.
The agency urged the “total evacuation” of the Taal Volcano Island and other high-risk areas.
“Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall,” PHIVOLCS added.
Thousands of residents had been evacuated due to the threats posed by the volcano.
Classes had also been suspended in several areas across Luzon due to the volcanic ashfall. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News