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Pyroclastic density currents, volcanic tsunami likely around Taal –PHIVOLCS

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised the alert status in Taal Volcano to Alert Level 3 from Alert Level 2, according to the agency's 4 p.m. Sunday bulletin.

It also confirmed that there was a magmatic intrusion that is likely the cause of the volcano’s phreatic eruptions on Sunday morning and afternoon.

“This means that there is magmatic intrusion that is likely driving the current activity,” PHIVOLCS said.

Alert Level 3 also means magma is near or at the surface, and activity could lead to hazardous eruption in weeks.

Danger zones may be expanded up to eight kilometers from the active crater, it added.

“PHIVOLCS strongly recommends Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas be evacuated due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami,” it said.

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

“In addition, communities around the Taal Lake shore are advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lake water disturbances related to the ongoing unrest.”

PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said the Taal Vocano spewed ash in phreatic eruptions.

Solidum said that a phreatic eruption was recorded at around 11 a.m. After three hours, a stronger explosion was recorded around 2 p.m. The volcano spewed a kilometer-tall of ash column. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News