01/13/2020, 09.43
PHILIPPINES
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Evacuations ahead of 'dangerous explosion' of volcano Taal

Over 23 thousand people have already left their homes, but their number is likely to reach 200 thousand. 73 evacuation centers set up by the authorities. Manila airport closed. Taal is one of the most deadly volcanoes in the world. In 1754, it erupted for seven months.

 

 

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Seismic swarms, lava fountains and dense ash clouds: all eyes are on the Taal volcano, the deadliest in the Philippine archipelago. Located 65 km south of the capital city of Manila in the province of Batangas, the volcano erupted yesterday evening. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) this morning says that another "dangerous explosion" could take place "within a few hours or days", justifying the mass evacuations taking place within a radius of 14km from the crater.

Over 23 thousand people have already left their homes, but their number is likely to reach 200 thousand. The central government has allocated 50 million US dollars to deal with the emergency. 73 evacuation centers have been set up by the authorities. Officials ordered the closure of schools and government offices and advised private companies to do the same. However, some residents refuse to evacuate houses and farms. Manila International Airport will remain closed until the airspace and runways are free of volcanic debris. More than 500 flights have been canceled. The airport could resume partial operations during the day.

Phivolcs classifies Taal as a complex volcanic system. It has 47 craters and 4 maar (cavities originated by explosions triggered by the contact between magma and groundwater). Taal is one of the country's 24 active volcanoes. Although it hasn't erupted since 1977, it is still classified as one of the world's deadliest volcanoes. Authorities reported volcanic unrest in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Over the past 448 years, 34 eruptions of the Taal volcano have been reported. The first dates back to 1572; the largest in 1754, which lasted seven months between May and December. This buried four cities of Batangas under dust, volcanic rocks and water. The ash deposits reached between 100 and 110 centimeters in height. Until now, the volcano has caused 6,000 known deaths.

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