Latest updates as new cracks spotted in surface
More than 40,000 people have fled a potential “explosive eruption” of the Taal volcano, which has spewed lava and plumes of ash near the Philippine capital since Sunday.
Volcanologists have warned a eruption could rain rocks and magma and set off a tsunami from the lake in which the volcano sits.
Meanwhile, thick ashfall from the volcano has cloaked many towns in the Batangas province causing millions of dollars worth of damage to crops. Clouds of ash were blown 62 miles to Manila, forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.
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Schools and airport reopen
Despite the ongoing risk of a devastating volcanic eruption, Manila’s mayor announced that schools, which have been suspended since Sunday, would reopen today.
While ashfall affected more than 500 domestic and international flights, the main airport at Manila has been back in operation since Monday afternoon.
Villages covered in ash abandoned by residents
Thousands of residents have fled from their homes surrounding the volcano, leaving abandoned villages covered in a thick layer of ash.
Experts warned residents not to live near volcano
Volcanic experts repeatedly warned people not to live near the Taal volcano.
He said his agency has declared the area around the volcano permanent danger zones where people are forbidden from setting up homes. The area was also in the 1960s declared a government-protected area and later a national park, meaning it should be off-limits to permanent settlers.
Volunteers wear gas masks as they search for pets left by owners as they fled the volcano danger zone.
‘It’s all in God’s hand now’
Residents who fled the danger zone of the Taal volcano fear that they may not be able to return to their homes.
“It’s all in God’s hands now. We are not sure if we will have a home to return to,” Leonita Gonzales told Reuters.
Her banana palms were destroyed by the ash that fell after the volcano started to gush smoke on Sunday. She is uncertain whether her home’s tin roof will be able to bear the weight either.
Residents catch fish as volcano spews ash behind them
Residents living along Taal lake have been pictured fishing as the volcano spews ash and steam behind them.
The volcano could spew lava and ash for weeks, authorities warned.
Hundreds of thousands believed to live within volcano danger zone
More than 450,000 people are estimated to be residing within the 14 km danger zone of the Taal Volcano, according to the the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Magma continues to rise from below volcano
Volcanic experts said on Tuesday that while surface activity had slowed, there were clear indications that magma – molten rock in the Earth’s crust – continued to rise up from below.
The signs, said chief scientist Maria Antonia Bornas, were similar to those in a major 1911 event “before it progressed into a climactic or explosive eruption”. The 1911 eruption killed about 1,500 people.
British government advises tourists to check for constant updates on volcano
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated in its travel advice for the Philippines:
“The Philippines’ authorities are currently recommending evacuation of an area within 14km radius of the Taal main crater.
Also be aware that due to this flights in and out of Manila international airport are subject to disruption. You should consult your carrier.
In addition, the ash cloud is over Metro Manilla and local government authorities in Manila have begun to advise staying indoors while ash is falling.“
Steam and ash from volcano has spewed 15km into air
Time lapse footage shows the volcano spewing a column of steam and ash 15km into the air on Sunday.
Crater lake next to Taal volcano has emptied, footage shows
The crater lake next to Taal has significantly emptied since the volcano began spewing ash and steam on Sunday, new footage shows.
Couple marries as Taal volcano errupts behind them
A photographer captured the moment a couple said “I do” as the Taal volcano erupted behind them.
“We kept on checking social media for updates on the volcanic eruption,” the wedding photographer said.
Read more here:
Taal volcano has erupted more than 30 times in past 500 years
The deadliest eruption killing more than 1,300 people in 1911. A 1754 eruption lasted for months. The last eruption was in 1977.
‘Hazardous explosive eruption’ still possible
The alert level for the volcano stands at 4 on a 5-point scale, indicating that an “explosive eruption” remains imminent.
Volcano eruption could leave victims with mental health problems for many years
The Taal volcano eruption could leave victims with anxiety and depression for years to come, Talya Meyers writes.
Aid groups and NGOs should be prepared to screen for signs of trauma and other mental health concerns, which can have long-term effects on physical health as well.
Read more here:
Dogs stranded as thousands evacuated from danger zone
Animal charities have appealed for donations to help the many dogs stranded in the volcano danger zone after their owners fled the area.
Ash cloaks villages around volcano
Thick ashfall from the Taal volcano has covered buildings, roads and trees in Bantangas province.
‘Almost everything was destroyed’
One man who defied official warnings and went back to his village next to the volcano said there was complete devastation.
“Almost everything was destroyed,” Christian Morales told The Associated Press. “If anybody defied orders and stayed behind, he would have been killed without a doubt.”
More than 40,000 flee danger zone
Nearly 44,000 people have fled the 14km danger zone around Taal and have been relocated to more than 200 evacuation centres.
New cracks spotted in surface
Cracks are emerging around the Taal volcano raising the likelihood of an imminent major eruption, according to scientists.
Experts at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs, which said the threat level from the Taal volcano south of Manila remained at level 4 on Tuesday – one short of an active eruption.
Read more here
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