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Taal Volcano alert level 4 still up

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Residents of Balete, Batangas, continue to monitor activities near Taal Volcano on Monday morning. (Yummie Dingding)

The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of 75 volcanic earthquakes in Taal region as of 5 a.m. Monday, 13  January 2020, with 32 of those earthquakes felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II  to V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao in Laguna and Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan in Batangas.

Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.

Alert level 4 remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

Officials strongly reiterated total evacuation from Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal main crater.

Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall.

Civil aviation authorities are also advised to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft.

Taal Volcano entered a period of intense unrest beginning with phreatic or steam-driven activity in several points inside the main crater at 1 p.m. Sunday, 12 January 2020, that progressed into magmatic eruption at 2:49 a.m. to 4:28 a.m. Monday, 13 January 2020.

The magmatic eruption is characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning.

At 2 p.m., booming sounds were heard at Talisay, Batangas.

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