(Courtesy of Phivolcs)

MANILA – Malacañang on Sunday urged residents near the vicinity of Taal Volcano to remain vigilant after its latest activity triggered Alert Level 3 status.

In a press statement, acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said the executive department is “closely monitoring” the situation in areas near Taal Volcano.

“We urge all residents of affected barangays and communities to remain alert and vigilant, get news updates from trusted sources and authorities, and cooperate with concerned agencies while the volcano situation is being monitored for any developments,” he said.

Andanar said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and its regional counterparts and local government units are implementing all relevant precautionary measures, including evacuation of high-risk communities near the volcano island as well as fishermen in Taal Lake.

He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has Quick Response Teams and standby stockpile of food and non-food items to augment local supplies when needed.

As of Sunday morning, there are 854 families or 2,894 persons inside 12 evacuation centers in Calabarzon, which comprises the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

Taal Volcano’s alert status was raised to Level 3 (magmatic unrest) on Saturday due to a phreatomagmatic eruption, an explosion that occurs when magma and water interact.

Taal Volcano is one of the 24 active volcanoes listed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

It is the second most active volcano in terms of frequent eruptions.

Situated in Batangas, it has been a staple tourist destination due its proximity to Metro Manila. (PNA)