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Agoncillo, Batangas ready for evacuation in case Taal Volcano activity escalates

The municipality of Agoncillo, Batangas is ready for possible evacuation should Taal Volcano show signs of increased activity, Mayor Daniel Reyes said on Wednesday.

"Naghahanda po kami. Nagmo-monitor para po sa mga kababayan natin," Reyes said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

"Sa ngayon, pinaiikutan namin 'yung nasa loob ng 7-kilometer danger zone na maghanda," he added.

Reyes said Agoncillo residents were not included in the forced evacuation implemented on Tuesday after Taal Volcano showed more seismic activities.

Sixty residents on Taal Volcano Island were evacuated on Tuesday by joint forces from the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. They were brought to an evacuation center in Talisay, Batangas.

Agoncillo was heavily affected after Taal Volcano erupted in January last year. Ash covered parts of the municipality and fissures appeared on roads. Residents were evacuated at the time. The municipality sits on the shores of Taal Lake and the volcano is just a boat ride away.

"Naka-ready na po ang evacuation plan. Ipinapaalam na sa mga bayan kung saan ang pickup point," Reyes said.

Agoncillo residents who will be evacuated should the need arises will be brought to designated evacuation centers in Batangas City, Balayan and Calatagan, he added.

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 1 on Wednesday, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum said.

Sixty-nine tremors were recorded in the past 24 hours and PHIVOLCS observed the increased temperature and acidity in the main crater lake. —KG, GMA News