MOSCOW: The government of Batangas province in the Philippines on Monday declared a state of calamity over the eruption of Taal Volcano, reported Sputnik news agency.

On Sunday, the Philippine authorities started to evacuate three towns in Batangas, just south of the capital of Manila, over Taal’s increased activity and a strong eruption that resulted in a half mile-high pillar of ash.

On the same day, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recorded alarming activity and declared a Level 3 alert, which indicates magmatic unrest in the volcano. On Monday, PHIVOLCS upgraded the alert level to 4 and recommended a full evacuation of neighbouring areas.

A youth living at the foot of Taal volcano rides an outrigger canoe while the volcano spews ash as seen from Tanauan town in Batangas province, south of Manila, on January 13, 2020. The Philippines was on alert January 13 for the “explosive eruption” of a volcano south of Manila, which officials said could be imminent after a massive column of ash forced a halt to flights at the capital’s main airport. Photo: AFP / Ted Aljibe

“Whereas, by authority vested to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial council), under NDRRMC Memorandum Order No, 60, series of 2019, which states that when two or more municipalities or cities are affected by a disaster the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, upon the recommendation of the Provincial DRRM Council, may declare the entire province under a state of calamity,” local authorities said in a resolution, as cited by the Rappler news portal.

According to the portal, a declaration of a state of calamity envisages the use of funds from the special Quick Response Fund for relief, rehabilitation, recovery, and other work or services to mitigate the consequences of the disaster and rebuild the affected areas. – Bernama

The structure of a typical volcano and the phases of an eruption. Graphic: AFP / Patrice Deré