Taal Volcano flashed dust, ash, and small rocks on Sundays, causing the government to order the evacuation of residents of nearby villages and telling visitors to evacuate the Tagaytay, Batangas and Cavite regions as a precaution for a possible eruption.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) increased the danger level to 4 late on Sunday, which means that a dangerous explosive eruption can occur within hours or days.
Earlier in the afternoon, the volcano, which attracts many tourists to the province of Batangas, blasts steam and ash up to a kilometer into the sky amid signs of its restlessness in the past few months.
Phivolcs also recorded a swarm of earthquakes, some of which were felt and rumbling, on Volcano Island and in villages in the town of Agoncillo in Batangas.
Phivolcs said in a statement that the southwest part of the island was dotted with ash.
There are reports and cries of help for rescuers as tourists from nearby locations affected by the ashfall are stranded.
Ashfall also showered in Silang and Amadeo, in Cavite, and Calamba, Santa Rosa and San Pedro City in Laguna province.
Classes in school at all levels for Monday were called off in the entire Calabarzon Region, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila.
Moreover, ashfall from Taal volcano clothed a community in the town of Agoncillo, Batangas.
People in vehicles are also advised to be safe while driving as it is really hard to see through due to thick ash.
Affected residents, and from nearby areas where there is ashfall advisory, should take precautionary measures in line with possible inhalation of ashfall, which may harm the health, especially may cause respiratory problems.
Magmatic eruption early Monday
Phivolcs reported that Taal Volcano had a magmatic eruption early Monday, hours after spewing a giant column of ash.
In its 8 a.m. update Monday, the Phivolcs said Taal Volcano’s phreatic or steam-driven activity “progressed into magmatic eruption” at 2:49 a.m. to 4:28 a.m. of Jan. 13 (Monday).
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), magmatic eruptions involve magma rising to the surface, which normally produces detectable earthquakes.
It may also distort the surface of the earth and induce anomalous heat flow or changes in the temperature and composition of groundwater and spring waters.
“This magmatic eruption is characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning,” Phivolcs said.
A total of 75 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the Taal region as of 5:00 a.m. Monday, 32 of which were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II – V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao, Laguna, Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan in Batangas.