Taal Volcano alert level down to No. 3

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The massive January 12, 2020 Taal volcanic eruption as it pierces through troposphere and into stratosphere. (Ismael Amigo)

MANILA – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has lowered the alert status level over Taal Volcano from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 state volcanologists said.

“This serves as a notice for the lowering of Taal Volcano’s status from Alert Level 4 or hazardous eruption imminent to Alert Level 3, decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption,” Phivolcs said in their 8 a.m. bulletin Sunday.

The previous Alert Level 4 meant that a volcanic eruption was possible within hours to days while Alert Level 3 now means a “decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption.”

However, Phivolcs warned in a press briefing the lowering of alert level does not eliminate the possibility of a volcanic eruption, which they had been constantly warning of in the days following the initial steam blast on January 12.

Relatively, the Phivolcs said entering the permanent danger zone within a seven-kilometer radius from the volcano’s crater will still be strictly prohibited.

The National Disaster Risk Response and Management Council, meanwhile, still remains on red alert requiring all disaster officials to still work 24/7.

On Sunday, the NDRRMC recorded some 98,000 families or 376,000 persons in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite who were affected by Taal’s unrest.

Of that number, 135,365 persons are taking temporary shelter in 497 evacuation centers while another 168,569 are “served outside evacuation centers.” (ISMAEL AMIGO/Currentph.com)

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