World Philippine volcano throws lava, ashes for the third day,...

Philippine volcano throws lava, ashes for the third day, 30,000 flee


The volcano threw sources of hot lava at 500 meters (1,640 feet) into the sky with columns of dark gray ash vapor that reached 2 kilometers (more than 1 mile) high. The massive volcanic column sometimes flashed with lightning.

More than 200 earthquakes were detected in Taal and its surroundings, of which 81 felt at different intensities. "Such intense seismic activity probably means a continuous magmatic intrusion under the Taal building, which can lead to increased eruptive activity," the volcanology institute said.

The picturesque volcano in the middle of a lake in the province of Batangas, south of Manila, rumbled on Sunday in a powerful explosion that threw a column of ashes, steam and pebbles 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the sky. Clouds of volcanic ash blowing over Manila, 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the north, closed the country's main airport on Sunday and part of Monday until the ash decreased.

The government's disaster response agency had more than 30,400 evacuees in Batangas and the nearby provinces of Cavite. The authorities expected the number to increase.

Government work was suspended and schools closed in a wide range of towns and cities, including Manila, due to the health risks of ashes. The eruption has not directly caused death or major damage. The death of a driver in an accident on an ash-covered road was related to slippery conditions.

The small island where the 1,020-foot (311-meter) volcano is located has long been designated as a "permanent danger zone," although fishing villages have long existed there. Those villages were evacuated, although volcanology officials have called for a total evacuation of the endangered communities within a radius of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) from Taal.

The last disastrous eruption of Taal, in 1965, killed hundreds of people. It is the second most restless of approximately two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines, found along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where most of the world's seismic activity occurs.

An inactive volcano, Mount Pinatubo, flew its summit north of Manila in 1991 in one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the twentieth century, killing hundreds of people.

Gomez reported from Manila. The Associated Press journalists Kiko Rosario in Manila and Aaron Favila in Tagaytay contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.


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