The Taal Volcano in the Philippines suddenly roared to life on Monday, spewing red-hot lava and sending a towering plume of ash into the air. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage, but strong winds have blown smoke and ash all over Luzon, the nation’s largest and most populated island.
The Taal volcano in the Philippines could violently erupt ‘in the coming hours or days’ prompting evacuation orders for nearly 500k people pic.twitter.com/V7ZkU27Gyk
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 13, 2020
NBC News reports that 22,000 people have been evacuated from the area and Manilla’s international airport was forced to close. Government offices and schools across the island were also closed. Officials warn that the eruptions could continue and get worse. They also said residents in the area should prepare for the possibility of a mass evacuation.
From The Washington Post:
In the lakeside town of Taal, where a mandatory evacuation order is in force, Mayor Pong Mercado said Monday his government had to abandon 11 evacuation centers and move to a larger city as it was too close to the volcano. Under a gray sky and with frequent tremors jolting the ground, many residents gathered their belongings and waited to be rescued.
Taal is among more than 20 active volcanoes in the Philippines, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. According to the NASA Earth Observatory, Taal consists of multiple stratovolcanoes. Its primary feature is the three-mile-wide Volcano Island, which has 47 craters and is surrounded by water.
Watch the video above.