Taal Volcano was elevated to the third highest alert, authorities said, after a "short-lived burst" of water and magma on Saturday that generated a 1.5-kilometer plume in the area that is increasingly frequented by tourists as COVID restrictions ease.
Alert Level 3 signifies "magmatic unrest" and comes before Level 4, or an imminent eruption, and Level 5 which means an eruption is in progress. Taal has been on varying levels of unrest since its last major eruption in January 2020 that buried entire communities in ash and disrupted aviation two months before the pandemic.
Magma at the main crater of the volcano, located within Taal Lake, "may further drive succeeding eruptions, Phivolcs said.
Phivolcs recommended evacuations in Taal Volcano Island and high-risk barangays of Bilibinwang and Banyaga in Agoncillo town and Boso-boso, Gulod and eastern Bugaan East in Laurel town, all in Batangas province.
The volcano view is a tourist draw, especially in Tagaytay City, which was devastated by the 2020 eruption, but has since recovered.