Philippine officials warn of 'volcanic tsunami' following eruption

Satellite image of Taal volcano on 12 Jan 2020

Thousands evacuate as Philippine volcano rumbles

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Sunday raised the alert level at the rumbling Taal volcano, 65km (40 miles) south of Manila, to "level 3", indicating "magmatic unrest" that could lead to a "hazardous eruption in weeks".

The Taal Volcano in the central Philippines rumbled to life on Sunday, spewing ash and prompting evacuations in nearby communities - and officials warn that a more powerful eruption is imminent.

Government seismologists recorded magma moving towards the crater of Taal, one of the country's most active volcanoes located 65 kilometres south of Manila.

The local disaster office said it had evacuated over 2,000 residents living on the volcanic island, which lies inside a bigger lake formed by previous volcanic activity.

"Taal is a very small volcano, but a unsafe volcano", Renato Solidum, head of The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), told Reuters.

The ash plume was clearly visible from the nearby city of Tagaytay, a well-frequented viewing spot for the volcano.

With assurances that the House will provide "support and assistance" Cayetano said, "Together, let us pray for the safety and protection of our people especially those within the danger areas near the Taal volcano".

"We have asked people in high-risk areas, including the volcano island, to evacuate now ahead of a possible hazardous eruption", Renato Solidum, the chief of the volcanology institute, told the news agency.

Seismic and volcanic activity in the area can be attributed to the movement of tectonic plates, and the plates may overlap, known as subduction zones.

The local authorities cancelled school for today and urged people to stay indoors.

"I didn't expect to see such a spectacle". An eruption in 1911 killed 1,500 people and one in 1754 lasted for a few months.

A tiny Filipino volcano, which due to its picturesque location in the middle of a lake with steam, ash and small stones, attracts many tourists and causes residents to flee from the surrounding villages and authorities to increase the danger. "We just stopped by to eat".

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