THE STATE volcanology agency on Thursday raised the alert level for Taal Volcano after it spewed a one kilometer-high plume, and called for the evacuation of two villages considered at high-risk.

At 3:16 p.m., the volcano’s main crater “generated a short-lived dark phreatomagmatic plume 1 kilometer-high with no accompanying volcanic earthquake,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in an advisory.

Under Phivolcs’ 5-level alert system, Taal’s status was raised to 3 or a “high level of volcanic unrest.”

“This means that there is magmatic intrusion at the Main Crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions,” Phivolcs said.   

The high-risk barangays are Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas.

“In addition, communities around the Taal Lake shore are advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lakewater disturbances related to the ongoing unrest,” Phivolcs said.

The entire volcano island, located about 100 kilometers south of the capital region Metro Manila, has been declared a permanent danger zone.

Its last major explosion was in Jan. 2020. — MSJ