The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert status of Taal Volcano to level-4 on 12 January when it begun with a phreatic or steam-driven activity that progressed into magmatic eruption on 13 January. People living in high risk areas within the 14-km danger zone were evacuated. On 26 January, PHIVOLCS lowered the alert status of Taal Volcano to level-3 to reflect the overall decrease in volcanic activity. The displaced population living outside the 7-km danger zone was allowed to return home. Access to municipalities within the 7-km danger zone – parts of Agoncillo and Laurel, Batangas – is still restricted, while the Government has declared permanent restrictions on several barangays (villages) in Balete, Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas province. Taal Volcano Island is identified as a permanent danger zone. According to PHIVOLCS, alert level-3 indicates a decreased tendency towards hazardous explosive eruption but should not be interpreted that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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