Volcano Erupts in the Philippines, Forces at Least 300,000 to Evacuate
A plume of ash, steam and pebbles filled the sky near Manila, Philippines on Sunday as Taal, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes, erupted.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the cloud of gas and ash shot 10 to 15 kilometers in the air as the eruption began.
Reports show that light to mud-thick ash has been falling over towns and cities several kilometers away from the volcano.
Authorities have issued a “total evacuation” order for people living around Taal and near Manila, the country’s capital. So far, around 300,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, including 6,000 villagers who live on an island in the middle of the lake the volcano sits on.
Officials are urging all other residents in affected areas to stay inside if at all possible and to wear masks and goggles for protection. Motorists have also been cautioned to stay off the roads, as wet ash can become quite slippery.
Last erupting between 1965 and 1977, Taal – which is located 60 kilometers south of Manila – has been showing signs of a possible eruption since 1991. In 2019, PHIVOLCS raised the volcano to a level one alert, as heavy volcanic activity began occurring, including 57 volcanic earthquakes between November 11 and 12. On Sunday, PHIVOLCS raised the alert level again to a level four. According to the Associated Press, a
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