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Philippines' active volcano erupts, locals to evacuate their homes

05:40 27 March 2022 Author :  

Residents near Batangas province in the Philippines have been warned of a possible "volcanic tsunami" after the Taal Volcano's spew on Saturday. Local officials encouraged people to evacuate their homes immediately.

Taal Volcano in Batangas province, 66 kilometers (41 miles) south of Manila, generated "a short-lived phreatomagmatic burst" at 7:22 a.m. (11:22 p.m. GMT), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in a bulletin.

This was followed by "nearly continuous phreatomagmatic activity that generated plumes (as high as 1.5 kilometers), accompanied by volcanic earthquake and infrasound signals," Phivolcs added.

Due to the activity, Phivolcs raised the alert status at Taal from level two to level three, which means there is "magmatic intrusion at the main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions."

Local government officials in four villages around the volcano urged residents to evacuate to safer grounds, the national disaster agency said.

At least 1,100 residents have so far moved to five schools turned into evacuation centers, the agency said.

"Residents of the affected areas are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures, and follow authorities' warnings and advisories," it said in a statement.

The Department of Health warned against exposure to falling volcanic ash: "Anyone who already suffers from problems such as bronchitis, emphysema or asthma should avoid exposure to volcanic ash."

"Stay indoors as much as possible, keep doors and windows closed," it added.

Taal's last major eruption was in January 2020, displacing more than 376,000 people. Thirty-nine people died due to illness while in evacuation centers and accidents caused by thick ashfall, according to the provincial government.

Taal has erupted 33 times since 1572.

It is a popular tourist destination for its picturesque crater lake and has the distinction of being the only known volcano in the world within a lake on an island./DPA

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