Over 14,000 evacuated in Batangas after Taal Volcano placed under Alert Level 3

More than 3,500 families composed of 14,495 individuals have been evacuated in Batangas province following three phreatomagmatic eruptions of Taal Volcano on Thursday, July 1.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has placed Taal Volcano in Batangas under Alert Level 3.

Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) head Lito Castro said the evacuees were from two barangays in the town of Agoncillo and three barangays from the town of Laurel.

"Nag-decide na ang mayors na hindi na muna lumabas ng bayan nila so within their municipalities din nag-evacuate, pero kung sakaling mag-escalate ang activity ay handa naman ang bayan ng Balayan at Calatagan para sa mga taga-Agoncillo at ang mga taga-Laurel ay pupunta sa bayan ng Nasugbu at sa lalawigan ng Cavite," Castro said.

(The mayors decided to evacuate within their municipalities. But in case the activity escalates, the towns of Balayan and Calatagan are ready to take in the residents of Agoncillo town, while those from Laurel will proceed to Nasugbu and the province of Cavite.)

In an online press briefing earlier Thursday, Batangas Governor Dodo Mandanas said it's the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that should order the evacuation because Taal Volcano is a protected landscape. He said DENR has control and administration over the area.

Mandanas, however, said the province is ready to deal with the situation.

"Pero ang lalawigan ng Batangas, lagi ring nakahanda. Sinasabi ko nga nagpadala na kami ng mga transportation in case of evacuation na kailangan talaga. Ang lalawigan ay handa nang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan diyan, hindi lang sa evacuation kundi sa lahat, pati sa mga pagkain at face masks kung kinakailangan sa tamang pahanon," said Mandanas.

(Batangas is always ready. We have sent transportation if there is a need to evacuate. We are ready to help, not only with evacuation but even with food and face masks, if needed and at the right time.)

Batangas has also activated its emergency operations center after Phivolcs raised Taal Volcano's alert level. – Rappler.com