A man clears ash from the roof of his truck, before a plume of steam rising from the Taal volcano, at a fishing harbour in Laurel on January 17, 2020.
AFP/Ed Jones
Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert level to 3
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 26, 2020 - 9:29am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1 9:39 a.m.) — The alert status erected over Taal Volcano has been lowered from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3, state volcanologists confirmed. 

“This serves as a notice for the lowering of Taal Volcano’s status from Alert Level 4 or hazardous eruption imminent to Alert Level 3, decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption,” state volcanology and seismology bureau Phivolcs said in their 8 a.m. bulletin on Sunday.

Alert Level 4 meant that a volcanic eruption was possible within hours to days while Alert Level 3 now means a "decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption."

In a press briefing in Batangas, though, Phivolcs warned that this does not eliminate the possibility of a volcanic eruption, which they had been constantly warning of in the days following the initial steam blast on January 12.

State volcanologists also strongly recommended that entering the permanent danger zone within a seven-kilometer radius from the volcano's crater still be strictly prohibited. 

Exactly two weeks into Taal's fury, the National Disaster Risk Response and Management Council still remains on red alert, which means that all disaster officials must report to work 24/7. 

In their 6 a.m. situation report on Sunday, the NDRRMC recorded some 98,000 families or 376,000 persons in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite who were affected by Taal's unrest. 

Of this number, the NDRRMC said, 135,365 persons were taking temporary shelter in 497 evacuation centers while 168,569 were "served outside evacuation centers."

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