Taal volcano update: 'Explosive' eruption predicted as Philippines volcano rumbles to life

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Taal volcano update: 'Explosive' eruption predicted as Philippines volcano rumbles to life 1

The eruption warning arrives after 738 earthquakes rocked the Philippines volcano on Luzon Island since January 12. The current Alert Level for Taal is 4, meaning officials expect a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days”.

On Friday, January 24, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported plumes of steam and smoke belching from Taal’s main crater.

As of midnight GMT (8am local time) the volcano has also been spewing 268 tons (224 tonnes) of toxic sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the skies.

An official Taal Volcano Bulletin for Friday morning warned of possible magma moving under the volcano.

The PHIVOLCS bulletin reads: “For the past 24 hours, the Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN), recorded 486 volcanic earthquakes, including four low-frequency earthquakes.

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“Such intense activity likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.”

Despite showing signs of activity, local residents are at odds with officials who have urged for a widespread evacuation in a 8.6 mile (14km) radius around Taal.

On Wednesday morning Filipino journalist Raffy Tima shared on Twitter a video of a “stand-off” between locals and police officers.

Mr Tima tweeted: “A stand-off is happening at the Lemery-Taal bypass road after police officers locked down the area.

“Residents of Lemery and Taal who were inside the locked down area are being prevented from leaving.

“Now, residents are blocking the road even for rescue vehicles and authorities.”

The initial steam-driven blast was followed on January 13 by a volcanic one, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands living near Taal.

But the volcano has not erupted yet and many believe it is safe to return to their homes.

The volcano has, however, blanketed local areas with volcanic ash and fissures have split the earth wide open.

Mr Tima shared a drone video of a long crack in the ground near the Taal-Lemery bypass road.

He also shared pictures of the skies being chocked out by volcanic dust.

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