Destinations

Warning of “further explosive eruption” after volcano spews lava in Philippines, shuts down airport

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Residents and tourists in the Philippines are on high alert after a volcano which began spewing lava and plumes of ash on Sunday threatens to erupt again.

Taal volcano, located in the middle of a lake roughly 70 kilometres south of Manila, started erupting an ash plume 10 to 15 kilometres high in the air on Sunday, followed by a “magmatic eruption including weak lava flow”, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS).

Widespread ashfall was recorded in several locations, including the cities of Manila and Quezon.

The ashfall forced the temporary closure of Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday and the cancellation of at least 240 flights.

Flights partially resumed on Monday at Manila’s international airport; however, more than 100 flights were cancelled, according to the airport’s website. At the time of publishing, only seven arrival flights and one departure flight had been cancelled today.

The GDACS said 75 volcanic earthquakes have been registered by the Philippine Seismic Network – 32 of which have been felt by the population living close to the volcano.

According to the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, approximately 24,500 people have been displaced and sheltered in 75 evacuation centres in the province of Bantangas.

Seven cities have experienced power outages, three roads have been closed, and authorities have deployed emergency teams to help those affected in the province.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology has raised the alert level to four, signalling that a hazardous eruption is imminent, and a “further explosive eruption” is possible within hours to days. Authorities have also warned an eruption could cause a tsunami to smash its way across the lake.

People living within a 14-kilometre radius from the volcanic crater are under mandatory evacuation.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Exec8

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