A mass evacuation has begun in the Philippines after a volcano about 45 miles south of Manila shot ash and steam more than half a mile into the air during a short explosion.
Taal volcano sent a plume 0.62 miles into the air on Thursday, according to NBC News.
Nearly 15,000 people were being evacuated late Thursday.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the volcano experienced a phreatomagmatic eruption between 3:16 p.m. and 3:21 p.m. local time, according to Newsweek. Phreatomagmatic eruptions take place when super-heated magma from beneath the surface hits water, causing steam and volcanic rock to launch into the sky.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) July 1, 2021
As a result of the eruption, the agency put its warning for the region around the volcano at level three, up from level two.
The agency said that meant Thursday’s “magmatic intrusion” at the main crater “could further drive succeeding eruptions.”
In January 2020, Taal sent a plume of ash and steam 10 miles into the sky.
More than 100,000 people were forced from their homes. The eruption was linked to 39 deaths in the region, according to Newsweek.
Ash fell on Manila, and many flights in and out of the city were canceled.
A 1911 eruption killed more than 1,300 people, according to NBC.
Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology told The Associated Press one plume does not mean a major eruption is coming, but such an event is possible.
“It’s just one explosive event, it’s too early to tell,” Solidum said.
To my filo moots who are near to Taal stay safe!! TAAL volcano is in alert level 3 already… Pls if u need to evacuate, evacuate immediately for your safety :<< pic.twitter.com/ZaNmwsOMcK
— Skyˣ⁷ 🧈 | semi IA (@SkyyyBTS) July 1, 2021
However, officials said the danger is high.
“Phreatomagmatic is more dangerous because there’s already an interaction with magma,” said Maria Antonia Bornas, chief of the agency’s monitoring and eruption prediction division, according to NBC.
Authorities called for evacuation of Volcano Island, which its in the middle of the lake where Taal is located, as well as the towns of Agoncillo and Laurel that are on the lake shore.
Eruption-related quakes and volcanic tsunamis are possible threats, the agency said.
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