FORCED OUT. Residents of Agoncillo, Batangas begin leaving their homes on Saturday (March 26, 2022) as Taal Volcano showed increasing unrest and was placed on Alert Level 3. Agoncillo was one of the hardest-hit towns after the January 2020 eruption. (Photo courtesy of Magandang Agoncillo Batangas Facebook)

MANILA – The Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) still prevails over Taal Volcano after the phreatomagmatic eruption of the main crater on Saturday morning and subsequent twin phreatomagmatic events early Sunday morning.

The Taal Volcano Network (TVN) seismic records and visual cameras captured 800 meter- and 400-meter-tall plumes from the main crater that drifted southwest.

Phreatomagmatic eruptions result from the interaction between magma and water.

In the past 24 hours, the TVN recorded 14 volcanic earthquakes, including 10 volcanic tremor events having durations of two to three minutes, and four low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) bulletin on Sunday morning.

Activity at the main crater was dominated by upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake which generated plumes 1,000 meters tall that drifted southwest.

Sulfur dioxide emission averaged 6,957 tonnes/day on Friday.

Residents of Taal Volcano Island and high-risk villages Bilibinwang and Banyaga, Agoncillo and Boso-boso, Gulod and eastern Bugaan East, Laurel, Batangas started evacuating on Saturday due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should stronger eruptions subsequently occur.

In Agoncillo, 1,689 individuals have already left their homes as of Saturday afternoon.

They are scattered in nine schools in and the outside the municipality while another five are staying in another village not required to evacuate yet. (PR)