Alert Level 3 raised over Taal Volcano

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the alert status over Taal Volcano to Alert Level 3 after it generated a kilometer-high phreatomagmatic plume on Thursday, July 1.

Phreatomagmatic eruption of Taal Volcano that took place at 3:16 p.m. on July 1, 2021. (Photo from Phivolcs)

From Alert Level 2 or “increasing unrest,” the agency has raised the volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 3 or “magmatic unrest” after the Taal’s main crater “generated a short-lived dark phreatomagmatic plume 1 kilometer-high with no accompanying volcanic earthquake.”

“In view of the above, DOST-PHIVOLCS is now raising the alert status of Taal from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3. This means that there is magmatic intrusion at the Main Crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions,” Phivolcs said in its volcano bulletin.

Evacuation for high-risk areas

With this development, the agency has strongly recommended that the Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas be evacuated due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

“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,” Phivolcs said.

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