The Taal volcano, which is a tourist attraction and is among the nation’s most active volcanoes, erupted ash and steam on Sunday 12 January and scientists have warned that a hazardous eruption is impending.
A hazardous eruption may occur within days
So far there have been no reports of casualties or major damage but more than 13,000 villagers from Batangas and Cavite have been moved to evacuation centres and the main airport in Manila has closed, with more than 500 flights cancelled and flights suspended until further notice.
It has been predicted that as many as 200,000 people may have to leave their homes.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said a ‘hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days’, and the alert status has been raised from one (some disturbance but no eruption soon) to four, which signifies intense unrest and means that a hazardous eruption may occur within days.
Philvolcs Director Renato Solidum said that there is danger that the affected area will be bigger than the island. Communities have been advised to take precautionary measures and be vigilant in case of lake-water disturbances. “Airplanes shouldn’t fly through Taal and shouldn’t land where there is ash or where the ash will be blown,” Solidum warned.