- A volcano in the Philippines began spewing lava on Monday local time after a sudden eruption a day earlier sent ash flying half a mile into the sky.
- The Taal volcano began emitting huge plumes of smoke on Sunday, leading thousands to evacuate and causing flights at Manila’s international to be temporarily suspended.
- Authorities have raised the alert level in the area to a four out of five, meaning that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A volcano in the Philippines began spewing lava on Monday local time after a sudden eruption a day earlier sent ash flying half a mile into the sky.
The Taal volcano, located about 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of the capital Manila, began emitting huge plumes of smoke on Sunday.
It is the second-most active volcano in the Philippines, according to the BBC.
According to a bulletin issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, PHIVOLCS, the volcano began to emit steam on Sunday at 1 p.m. local time, which progressed into a “magmatic eruption” by Monday morning, which is characterised by weak lava fountaining followed by thunder and lightning.
On Sunday, the volcano generated ash plume which shot out one kilometre (0.6 miles) into the sky, according to Reuters.
On Sunday, the alert level for the estimated 450,000 people residing within a 14-kilometre (8.6 mile) radius near the volcano was raised to a level four (out of five) and remained in effect on Monday morning.
The monitoring agency warned on Monday morning that this alert meant that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
The agency also warned that those residing in the area of the volcano were at risk of “volcano tsunamis,” which are often caused by tectonic movement from volcanic activity.
“Areas in the general north of Taal volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall,” the agency said.
PHIVOLCS also advised aircraft to avoid flying through the airspace above the volcano to protect themselves from ash and ballistic fragments.
Volcanic ash spread as far as Quezon City north of Manila on Sunday, prompting the Manila International Airport Authority to temporarily suspended flights at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The sudden conditions at the volcano forced nearly 8,000 people to evacuate as of 6 a.m. on Monday, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Philippines.
According to PHIVOLCS, lava was observed shooting out of the volcano at around 3:20 a.m. on Monday.
— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) January 12, 2020
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Video UN OCHA Asia Pacific showed huge plumes of billowing up into the sky. The agency said emergency response is ongoing.
Alert-level 4 raised over Taal Volcano. (5 highest)
Estimated 450,000 people live within the 14 km radius danger zone.
Emergency response is ongoing. Over 7,700 people already in evacuation sites.
(????: I. Pamintuan) pic.twitter.com/1kPKgHhAwK
— UN OCHA Asia Pacific (@OCHAAsiaPac) January 13, 2020
The Taal volcano is located on the big island on Luzon in the Batangas province. According to the BBC, it is one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, and has recorded 34 eruptions over the last 450 years.
The volcano is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and eruptions occur.
According to CNN, Mariton Bornas, chief of volcano monitoring at PHIVOLCs, said the agency measured tremors at the volcano in March 2019 though Sunday’s eruption came as a surprise.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.