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Close to 4,000 people affected by Taal activity —NDRRMC

A total of 3,850 people or 1,060 families were affected by the activity of Taal Volcano after its phreatomagmatic burst on Saturday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Monday.

In its report, the NDRRMC said 2,443 of the affected population were from Agoncillo and 1,407 from Laurel. A total of 14 barangays were affected, it added.

A total of 3,460 individuals or 956 families were staying inside 16 evacuation centers, while 201 persons or 54 families were staying in other places, according to the NDRRMC.

Some 113 police personnel were deployed to the affected areas, augmented by 13 personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard and 12 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The PNP, meanwhile, said it has deployed an anti-looting team to the affected communities to secure the abandoned houses and properties of evacuees.

Aside from this, the PNP said the police has also been conducting preventive evacuation, close monitoring of Taal, and regular patrolling in evacuated barangays.

“Full Alert Status is still in effect,” it said.

PHIVOLCS raised Alert Level 3, signifying magmatic unrest, over Taal Volcano on Saturday morning from Alert Level 2, which signified increasing unrest, following "a short-lived phreatomagmatic burst."

PHIVOLCS said the main crater of Taal Volcano "generated a short-lived phreatomagmatic burst" at 7:22 a.m. and "followed by nearly continuous phreatomagmatic activity that generated plumes 1500 m accompanied by volcanic earthquake and infrasound signals."

Alert Level 3 means "magma is near or at the surface, activity could lead to hazardous eruption in weeks, and danger zones may be expanded up to eight kilometers from the active crater," according to PHIVOLCS. 

In its 8 a.m. bulletin on Monday, PHIVOLCS said no volcanic earthquake was recorded in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours although Alert Level 3 remains in effect. —KBK, GMA News