MANILA (6th UPDATE)— The state seismology bureau raised alert level 4 over Taal Volcano on Sunday night after the volcanic island spewed a giant column of steam and ash.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), eruptive activity at Taal Volcano intensified as of 5:30 p.m.
“Eruptive activity at Taal Volcano Main Crater intensified as continuous eruption generated a tall 10-15 kilometer steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that rained wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City,” Phivolcs said in its latest bulletin.
Alert level 4 means a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days, Phivolcs also said.
The agency also advised total evacuation of residents in the Taal Volcano island and areas within a 14-kilometer radius from the 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 must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft,” the agency said.
The Manila International Airport Authority has put all flights on hold following Taal volcano’s ash explosion.