Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The Taal Volcano in the Philippines showed hints of another large eruption Tuesday as it spewed thick layers of ash on the island nation.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology kept the volcano at the fourth level of its five-step alert, meaning another hazardous eruption is possible within hours or days. The Philippine Seismic Network recorded 49 volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
It also recorded new fissures or cracks in about a dozen locations throughout the area.
"The intense seismic activity coupled with fissuring on the caldera region likely signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity," the institute said.
The institute warned of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Some areas experienced up to 2 feet of ash.
Ash remained soft and difficult to traverse in some areas while water hardened it in other areas, making it easier to walk over.
Some 38,203 people evacuated from the Batangas and Cavite took shelter in 198 evacuation centers, while seven cities and municipalities experienced power outages and 260 declared suspension of school classes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported.
Additionally, three road sections were declared impassable and 603 flights were canceled due to volcanic ash.