The unrest of the Taal Volcano has affected 7,237 persons, or 2,047 families in 18 barangays, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported Thursday.
The report coincided with three phreatomagmatic eruptions, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum Jr.
Solidum said the first eruption generated plumes 900 meters high, and the two others both generated plumes 500 meters tall.
Phreatomagmatic eruptions are caused by the interaction of magma and water. Eruptions normally consist of multiple explosive events, the interval of which may vary.
Phivolcs reported that for the past 24 hours, no volcanic earthquake caused by movements or eruptions of magma from the volcano was detected. However, low-level background tremor has persisted since March 29.
Solidum earlier said a low-level background tremor might signify stronger hydrothermal activity or boiling of groundwater, and degassing of the volcano.
Upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake generated plumes 1,500 meters high. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission averaged 6,405 tons on Wednesday, according to Phivolcs.
The NDRRMC said 20 evacuation centers were providing shelter to 1,209 families or around 4,165 individuals while 500 families or 1,952 persons were being aided outside with the rest sheltering with their relatives and friends.
Over P1.2 million worth of assistance has so far been provided to the affected population.
Citing data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Office of Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV said the five high-risk barangays were Banyaga and Bilibinwang in Agoncillo town and Boso-Boso, Bugaan East, and Gulod of Laurel town, all in the province of Batangas.
According to Solidum, Alert Level 3 (magmatic unrest) was being maintained over the Taal Volcano, indicating there was magmatic intrusion at the main crater that might further drive succeeding eruptions.
Meanwhile the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development has inaugurated three evacuation centers strategically located in three municipalities outside the danger zone.
Secretary Eduardo del Rosario spearheaded the inauguration and turnover of the evacuation centers in Barangay Calayaan, Sta. Teresita; Barangay San Juan, Alitagtag, and Barangay Dos, Mataasnakahoy.
Constructed through DHSUD’s BALAI assistance program, each evacuation center can accommodate at least 110 families or some 440 individuals, while approximately 106 modular tents can fit inside.
The evacuation centers were designed based on standards approved by President Rodrigo Duterte with key amenities and facilities.