Duterte asks authorities to aid in evacuation of residents near Taal

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MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte ordered authorities to undertake measures necessary to place the people within the perimeter of Taal Volcano out of the danger zone.

This after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the Taal Volcano is spewing ash in a phreatic eruption on Sunday afternoon due to hydro-thermal activities.

Phivolcs has upgraded the Alert Status to Level 3, which means the volcano’s activity could lead to hazardous eruption within weeks.

Panelo assured that the Palace is closely monitoring the situation of Taal Volcano.

Concerned agencies of the national government are now working closely with the provincial government of Batangas to ensure the safety of the residents, including their evacuation, he added.

He also asked the public to continue to remain vigilant.

In its 4 p.m. bulletin, Phivolcs said the volcano’s main crater has escalated its eruptive activity, generating an eruption plume 1 kilometer-high accompanied by volcanic tremor and felt earthquakes in Volcano Island and in villages of Agoncillo, Batangas.

It added that ash fall is being showered on the southwest sector of Taal.

Phivolcs has advised the public to do precautionary evacuation.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that at least three towns near the Taal Volcano namely Talisay, Balete, and San Nicolas, began to evacuate their residents after the ash explosion.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration issued a thunderstorm advisory at 3 p.m.

Cloudy skies with light rains will be experienced over the provinces of Aurora, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Abra and Benguet while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains is expected over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan due to northeast monsoon.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Northern Luzon and in Aurora province. The coastal waters will be moderate to very rough.

Residents of the affected areas are advised to monitor the latest weather updates and take precautionary measures against possible flash floods and landslides. -PNA

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