Philippines on alert after Taal volcano eruption

Philippines on alert after Taal volcano eruption

Philippines on alert after Taal volcano eruption

Thousands of people have been evacuated and authorities in the Philippines have raised the danger level of the Taal volcano as government scientists warned on Friday that stronger explosions could occur.

The Taal volcano in Batangas province, south of the capital Manila, caused disruption and concern on Thursday after spewing the 1km (0.62mile) high phreatomagmatic plume. In the past 24 hours, the institute recorded 29 volcanic earthquakes and high levels of Sulphur dioxide emissions at Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

The alert in Taal was raised to level three, which means that “magma extruding from the main crater could drive explosive eruption,” the institute said in a bulletin.

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Phivolcs urged residents to stay away from high-risk areas “due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur.”

Officials cannot say if more eruptions will occur, and Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said: “It’s just one explosive event, it’s too early to tell.”

Authorities have started urging residents in the lakeside towns of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas Province to evacuate due to possible eruption hazards, including a potential for a volcanic tsunami.