Thousands Evacuated As Volcano Erupts In The Philippines
Thousands of people have been evacuated in the Philippines amid concerns over an active, erupting volcano.
The Taal volcano, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes, caught the eyes of officials on Monday, June 28, after smog emerged and caused limited visibility around the mountain.
In the days since, it’s progressed to thick, white smoke and just yesterday, plumes of steam and gas as high as one kilometre. The volcano’s alert status was soon raised, kickstarting an evacuation process for thousands of nearby residents.
Taal, standing at 311m tall, is situated around 70km south of central Manila. As per NBC News, it was moved from level three to level two on the five-level scale, with the seismology and volcanology agency warning a ‘magmatic intrusion’ at the main crater ‘could further drive succeeding eruptions.’
However, it’s uncertain whether any further eruptions will occur beyond the one filmed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Renato Solidum, an official at the institute, said: ‘It’s just one explosive event, it’s too early to tell.’
Magma made contact with water in the crater, causing the eruption of gas and vapour, also known as a phreatomagmatic eruption. ‘Phreatomagmatic is more dangerous because there’s already an interaction with magma,’ Maria Antonia Bornas, chief of the agency’s monitoring and eruption prediction division, said.
Agoncillo began its evacuation soon after the eruption, according to Batangas provincial governor Hermilando Mandanas, with more than 3,500 families being moved, amounting to nearly 14,500 people.
Batangas delivered a huge amount of emergency supplies to Laurel, including 1,000 hygiene kits, 4,000 family kits, 215 sleeping kits, 48 boxes of instant coffee and 72 family tents.
PETA has also responded to the eruption, urging residents not to abandon their pets. ‘If you are being evacuated, please bring your animals with you. NEVER leave animals behind. There is no way of knowing what may happen to your home while you are away or when you’ll be able to return,’ its Facebook post read.
Shortly before Thursday’s eruption, Greenpeace Philippines noted the hazy skies over Manila. ‘The unhealthy air situation due to increasingly normalising car volume in Metro Manila, worsened by Taal’s volcanic activities, exposes the consequences of deprioritising air pollution monitoring,’ the organisation said, Sky News reports.
The Taal volcano erupted back in 1911, killing more than 1,300 people. In January last year, it also spewed ash and steam 15 kilometres high, with 100,000 people forced to leave their homes and more than 500 flights cancelled as a result of ash blowing 100km north.
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