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Volcanic eruption in the Philippines. Evacuation of several thousand people

Thousands of people have been evacuated after a volcano in the Philippines emitted steam and ash. 


The World Daily | News Desk           JULY  2nd   2021 


Taal volcano erupted near the capital of the Philippines - Manila. Dark plumes of steam and ash shot up from within a kilometre high into the sky. Local authorities ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents from high-risk areas.


The Philippine volcano erupted on Thursday. Government experts say the igneous material contacted with water in the main Taala crater in Batangas Province, causing a steam-driven eruption without the accompanying volcanic earthquake. They said it was unclear if the volcanic disturbances could lead to a full eruption.

"It's only one eruption, it's too early to tell," Renato Solidum of the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said at a press conference. He added that three smaller steam-fuelled emissions took place on Thursday night.


Third degree alarm

A government agency issued a third level alert on a five-stage alert system, which means "magma is near or above the surface and its activity could lead to a dangerous eruption in a few weeks."

Mark Timbal, a spokesman for the government's disaster response agency, said authorities had started evacuating residents from five high-risk villages. In his opinion, up to 14,000 inhabitants will have to be temporarily moved from the vicinity of the dangerous volcano. Authorities are ordering residents to stay away from the small island in the picturesque lake where Taal is located and is considered a constant danger zone.

The ABS-CBN network broadcasted footage of some residents along with their belongings in cars and motorbikes lining up at a gas station. Residents said they felt no shocks but did smell the volcanic sulphur. 


Batangas governor Hermilando Mandanas said evacuation camps, trucks, food packages and face masks are ready in case unrest escalates and more people need to be transported to safety. There have been concerns that crowding in evacuation camps could spread the coronavirus in a region that has seen a sharp rise in cases in recent months.


Active volcano

Taal last erupted in January 2020, causing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people and sent ash clouds to Manila, some 65 kilometers north, where, among other things, the main domestic airport was closed.

The Philippines lies along the "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific, a region prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The long dormant volcano, Mount Pinatubo, killed more than 800 people in 1991 during one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century.


© The World Daily 2021 | News Desk

Source: Reuters, PAP