“Imminent hazardous eruption” for Taal volcano, says PHIVOLCS as it stresses need for total evacuation of island

(Eagle News) – Taal volcano is now on alert level 4, meaning there is imminent hazardous eruption within hours or days, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology (PHIVOLCS) which reiterated the need for “total evacuation” of the volcano island.

Phivolcs raised the alert level from 3 (magmatic unrest) to 4 (imminent hazardous eruption) at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12 due to increasing activity of Taal volcano.

“This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” PHIVOLCS said.

It strongly reiterated the need for “total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and additional evacuation of areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater.”

-Heavy and prolonged ashfall for volcano-

“Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall,” its latest volcanic bulletin on Taal said.

“Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft,” PHIVOLCS added.

It noted that as of 5:30 p.m., “eruptive activity at Taal Volcano Main Crater intensified” because of “continuous eruption” that generated a “tall 10-15 kilometer steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that rained wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City.”

“Volcanic tremor was recorded continuously since 11:00 AM and two volcanic earthquakes of magnitudes M2.5 and M3.9 were felt at Intensity III in Tagaytay City and Alitagtag, Batangas were recorded at 6:15 and 6:22 PM PST, respectively,” Phivolcs said.