Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Restive Philippine volcano prompts thousands to flee

Restive Philippine volcano prompts thousands to flee

The Taal volcano in Batangas spit ash on Sunday afternoon, January 12, encouraging the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to raise warning level 2.

A volcano south of the Philippine capital Manila spit a enormous plume on Sunday, accompanied by rumbling and vibrations, prompting the authorities to raise the warning level and order the evacuation of around 8,000 residents. The volcano is located on the island of Luzon and is the country's second most active volcano. "Ashfall is now being showered on the southwest sector of Taal", PHIVOLCS said in a statement.

The phreatic eruption was recorded at around 11a.m., with ashes being spewed up to 30 meters high.

The airport is apparently not receiving flights either, with authorities saying arrivals were "on hold" following the eruption. Passengers are advised to coordinate with their respective airlines for flight updates. Regional government officials have canceled school classes for Monday and warned residents to stay indoors.

Evacuations are underway for an unknown number of people in the municipalities of San Nicolas, Balete and Talisay, according to The Philippine Star.

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"Magma is intruding from below". The entire lake and the island where the volcano sits may be viewed from Tagaytay City in Cavite, another tourist spot in the Calabarzon area.

"We have asked people in high-risk areas, including the volcano island, to evacuate now ahead of a possible hazardous eruption", Renato Solidum, who heads the institute, said by phone. The agency reported three quake events as of early Sunday afternoon.

"A seismic swarm has started at around 11:00 a.m. and ongoing as of 2:10 p.m.", it added.

PHIVOLCS strongly recommends evacuation of residents in Taal Volcano Isalnd and high-risk barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel Batangas due to the possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.

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