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Lava, ash and lightning: Philippine’s Taal volcano erupts

The Taal volcano in the Philippines erupted on Sunday, January 12, forcing thousands to evacuate the surrounding area.
The Taal volcano in the Philippines erupted on Sunday, January 12, forcing thousands to evacuate the surrounding area. © France 24

The Taal volcano in the Philippines erupted Sunday, sending vast plumes of ash into the air and producing spectacular volcanic lightning, while thousands were evacuated and flights cancelled in the capital Manila.

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By Monday, lava was also seen flowing from the top of the volcano, located on an island 65 km South of Manila.

The ash has travelled more than 100 km, causing travel disruption in Manila and blanketing entire villages in debris.

More than ten thousands have already been evacuated but government officials expect that number to rise significantly, reaching the hundreds of thousands, as more people flee the danger zone.

There have been no reports of casualties so far, but the government has raised its volcano alert level to its second-highest rating meaning a bigger "explosive eruption" could happen in "hours to days".

Taal is among two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines and last erupted in 1977.

 

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