Tens of Thousands Evacuated as Philippine Volcano Rumbles

  • VOA News

    January 14, 2020 08:15

    A volcano sent clouds of ash blowing through the Philippine capital of Manila Monday, forcing schools and businesses to close.

    More than 24,000 people near the Taal volcano, roughly 70 kilometers south of Manila, were evacuated after the volcano suddenly came to life Sunday following months of being restive.

    There were no immediate reports of casualties. Experts have warned that the volcano could erupt at any time, and that an eruption could trigger a tsunami, Reuters reported.

    A man walks on a road covered with ashes from the erupting Taal Volcano in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines on Jan. 13, 2020. /Reuters

    Some residents in the area surrounding Taal, one of the world's smallest active volcanoes, were unable to leave their homes as ash impeded roads and limited visibility.

    Manila's international airport was partially open on Monday after more than 500 flights were canceled the day before. A plane carrying President Rodrigo Duterte was able to land Monday as he returned from his southern hometown in Davao. He was originally scheduled to arrive on Sunday.

    Taal, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, has erupted more than 30 times in the past 500 years, according to Reuters.

    The Philippine archipelago sits along the so-called "Ring of Fire," a series of underground fault lines and volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean Basin, where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

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