Thousands evacuated in Philippines as Taal volcano briefly erupts

The Taal volcano on the island of Sonlu in the Philippines erupted on the morning of the 26th, sending out 1,500 meters of steam and ash that forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Located about 50 kilometers from Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Sonlu Island is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has recorded 33 volcanic eruptions since 1572. The eruption in 1911 killed more than 1,000 people, and the eruption in January 2020 also caused Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and ash drifted up into Manila, temporarily closing the airport.

Taal volcano is located in the center of Taal Lake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it erupted “briefly” at 7:22 a.m. After the magma came into contact with the volcanic lake, it triggered a steam explosion and earthquake.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology also issued a three-level alert, indicating that magma has invaded the main crater and may cause the next eruption. More than 12,000 people in five villages in Hukou have been ordered to evacuate, the regional civil protection agency said, with attention to a “volcanic tsunami” of volcanic gas, ash and debris.

Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, pointed out that this was a strong eruption, but now the volcano has calmed down, but it is not clear whether there will be a next eruption. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology may lower the alert level if there is no rise or a downward trend after two weeks of close monitoring.