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Taal's period of 'intense unrest' continues —PHIVOLCS

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 4 on Monday amid the continuing "period of intense unrest," according to PHIVOLCS' latest bulletin. Alert Level 4 means that "hazardous explosive eruption" is possible within hours to days.

The PHIVOLCS said the volcano's initial phreatic or steam-driven activity which started on Sunday progressed into a magmatic eruption from 2:49 a.m. to 4:28 a.m. on Monday.

"This magmatic eruption is characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning," the institute said in a bulletin.

Lava fountains were observed in Taal Volcano early Monday morning.

As of 5 a.m., a total of 75 volcanic earthquakes have also been recorded in Taal.

"Thirty-two of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II – V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao, Laguna, Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan, Batangas," the PHIVOLCS said.

"Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity."

Total evacuation of those at the volcano island was reiterated.

Those within the 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater were also advised to evacuate due to high risks of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

Meanwhile, residents in the general north of Taal volcano were advised to take precautionary measures for the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfalls.

The airspace around Taal Volcano must be avoided by aircraft as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards, the PHIVOLCS added.

Taal Volcano continues to spew ashes past 8 a.m. on Monday, according to PHIVOLCS-Tagaytay volcanologist Paolo Reniva.

"Tuloy-tuloy po 'yung emission... Karamihan po diyan sa mga ash emission ay may mga kasabay na paglindol na nararamdaman din dito po sa baba at sa taas ng Tagaytay," he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

Over 7,000 have already been evacuated due to Taal Volcano's activity, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Classes and government work in affected areas meanwhile were suspended on Monday.  —Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News