Imminent volcanic eruption shuts down Philippine capital

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 13 January 2020

Businesses and schools have been closed in Manila, as the Philippine capital braces itself for a possible volcanic eruption, which seismologists warn could trigger a tsunami in the lake in which the volcano rests.

The shut down comes after the Taal Volcano spewed ash up to 14km into the air on Sunday, and Philippine authorities have urged a ‘total evacuation’, according to a report by Reuters, of over 16,000 people ‘from the volcanic island and the area immediately around it’ near to Manila.

‘The speed of escalation of Taal’s volcanic activity caught us by surprise,’ said Maria Antonia Bornas, chief science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

‘We have detected magma. It’s still deep, it hasn’t reached the surface. We still can expect a hazardous eruption any time.’

Although it’s one of the world’s smallest active volcanos, the Taal Volcano is considered one of the most dangerous because of its proximity to so many people.

The volcano is situated in Taal Lake on the island of Luzon, about 60 kilometres south of the Philippine capital city.

According to Reuters: ‘Images from the scene on Monday showed streams of lava beginning to gush out the volcanic vent, the sky above still thick and dark with ash and steam.’

Vice Governor of nearby Talisay Batangas, Mark Leviste, said that rain had turned ash into mud and ‘trucks were needed to evacuate more people from remote communities’.

Both the power and water has been cut and the vice governor said that they were in need of potable water and’ face masks.’

Some tourists have ignored the warned to evacuate and have travelled to the closet town to the volcano to take photos.

As he took photos of the volcano from Tagaytay City (about 32 kms away), Israeli tourist Benny Borenstein told Reuters, ‘it’s a once in a lifetime experience for us.’

Image: Twitter

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