Manila: On Saturday, a small but restless volcano south of the Philippine Capital emitted a 1.5 kilometer-long (0.9-mile-long) plume. The plume caused authorities to issue an alarm and evacuate over a thousand residents.
The alert for the Taal Volcano, located about 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of central Manila, was raised from level 2 to level 3 on a 5-level scale. The seismology and volcanology department indicated “magmatic intrusion at the main crater that may further fuel subsequent eruptions.”
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“Magma in the shallow section of the crater mixed with water, resulting in an eruption known as phreatomagmatic activity.” Renato Solidum, head of the volcanology service, told the DZMM radio station.
However, Solidum predicted that the activity would be less potent than the January 2020 eruption. The ash falls limited to towns within the volcano, located in the center of a lake.
According to the disaster service, authorities evacuated more than 1,100 people living in lakeside settlements near the volcano. Fishers and fish cage workers from the lake are among the evacuees.
Taal is among the world’s most miniature active volcanoes. Despite its small size (311 meters (1,020 ft), it may be devastating, an eruption in 1911 killed almost 1,300 people.
Taal ejected a cloud of ash and steam as high as 15 kilometers in January 2020. It forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate and canceled dozens of flights.
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Like charcoal, heavy ash showered down on towns and villages, blanketing everything. Houses and trees sagged under its weight. There was no running water or any power in the affected areas.
In July of last year, officials evacuated thousands of people after Taal emitted a 1 km high plume.
Taal Volcano is in the Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific Ocean basin. It contains most of the world’s active volcanoes. It is also the location of 90% of earthquakes, which occur as tectonic plates press against one other, creating vibrations.
The “ring” extends along a 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) arc from the Pacific Plate’s boundary to smaller plates such as the Cocos and Nazca Plates and the Philippine Sea Plate line the Pacific Ocean’s edge. — CNN