Evacuations are underway in three towns in Batangas, the Philippines following the raising of Alert Level 3 over Taal Volcano after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recorded increased volcanic activity and an explosion past 2 pm (local time) resulting in an ash column.
Three earthquakes were also recorded related to the eruption, according to the PHIVOLCS.
PHIVOLCS officer-in-charge Renato Solidum said alert Level 3, which warns of possible eruption within days to weeks, could be raised if the volcano's activities continue to increase.
The public has been urged to stay away from the volcano's main crater due to sudden steam explosions and the possible release of high concentrations of lethal volcanic gases.
"The northern portion of the main crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, can also become hazardous when fumarolic or degassing activity along existing fissures suddenly increases," the bureau said.