A Filipino villager stands next to the rumbling Taal Volcano as it emits smoke at a fishing village in the town of Laurel, Batangas province, Philippines. Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA-EFE
March 26 (UPI) -- Authorities evacuated hundreds of families in the Philippines after the Taal Volcano, the country's second most active, erupted Saturday morning out of fear of stronger eruptions.
The volcano exploded with a "short-lived" burst at 7:22 a.m., followed by continuous activity that "generated plumes 1,500 meters, accompanied by volcanic earthquake and infrasound signals," the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.
The NDRRMC and local government counterparts in the Calabarzon region have evacuated residents since stronger eruptions may occur, the state-run Philippine News Agency reported.
"Communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog," which is a hazardous combination of volcanic particles and gases, and "calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify," the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warned in an advisory Saturday, which raised the advisory level to 3 with the highest level being 5.
As of 11:23 a.m. Saturday, 160 families, or an estimated 800 to 900 people, evacuated from Agoncillo town, according to Daniel Reyes, the town's mayor.
Eighty-one families or 222 individuals from the municipality of Laurel were also evacuated, according to an NDRRMC statement to the PNA.
The provincial government and Department of Social Welfare and Development have been preparing family food packs to aid in relief efforts along with vehicles to support evacuation efforts, according to the PNA.
The Taal Volcano also erupted in January 2020 with ash spreading for miles, leading to the closure of the Manila airport and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.