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Marcos: PH gov’t ready amid activity in Mayon, Taal volcanoes

The Philippine government is ready to assist affected residents if the situation of the Mayon and Taal volcanoes worsen, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos said on Thursday.

In a chance interview, Marcos said the government was constantly monitoring the situation of the two volcanos.

"We watch it very, very closely. Make sure that any of the communities that could be affected are evacuated and are given assistance while they are evacuated until the time that they can return to their homes," Marcos told reporters.

Marcos said the government had prepared and started to evacuate residents who could be affected if the volcanos erupt.

"Well, we have been watching both Mayon and Taal. Taal, it seems, is not in such a precarious, dangerous situation. Mayon is a little bit more advanced," Marcosa said.

"If the lava flow starts, that's when we really have a disaster," he added.

The alert level in Mayon Volcano was raised from 2 to 3 on Thursday noon, signifying an "increased tendency towards a hazardous eruption," according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Alert Level 3, PHIVOLCS said, means that Mayon "is exhibiting magmatic eruption of a summit lava dome, with increased chances of lava flow and hazardous PDCs (pyroclastic density currents) affecting the upper to middle slopes of the volcano and of potential explosive activity within weeks or even days."

PHIVOLCS said the repeated collapse of the volcano's growing summit dome has generated an increasing number and volume of rockfall events since the alert level was raised from 1 to 2 on Monday.

Meanwhile, Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 1, signifying low-level unrest.

PHIVOLCS has warned of possible steam-driven or phreatic or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas in Taal.

Marcos said the Department of Health is looking after residents who are affected by the release of gas from Taal Volcano.

"The DOH are looking after those people. We know where the wind is blowing kaya alam na natin kung saan dadaan 'yung mga toxic na gasses kaya paiiwasin na natin 'yung mga tao na nakatira doon sa area na 'yun," Marcos said. —NB, GMA Integrated News