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28/03/2022 - 14:15

Thousands evacuated after Taal volcano in Philippines erupts

Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate from their homes near Taal volcano in the Philippines on March 26 after an eruption sent ash and steam hundreds of metres into the sky.

The phreatomagmatic eruption has sparked eruptions. (Photo: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology)

The volcano, which sits in a lake south of Manila, exploded with a “short-lived” burst at 7.22am (local time), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in a statement.

It warned further eruptions were possible, which it said could trigger dangerous, fast-moving volcanic flows of gas, ash and debris, as well as a tsunami.

The seismological agency “strongly” recommended residents living in vulnerable communities around the lake be evacuated, as it raised the alert level from two to three.

Residents of five villages were ordered to leave their homes. More than 12,000 people live in the settlements, according to the latest available official data.

Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines which has been hit periodically by eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” – a zone of intense seismic activity.

Access to the volcano island, which was once home to a community of thousands, has been prohibited since January 2020./.