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Taal volcano near Philippine capital spews plume

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-12 16:07

MANILA - A small volcano in a scenic lake south of Manila blew "a white steam-laden plume" 2,400 meters into the sky on Friday morning, but is "unlikely" to progress into magmatic eruption, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

"A phreatic or steam-driven eruption at the Taal main crater occurred in the early morning between 5:11 am and 5:24 am local time based on seismic, visual and infrasound records," the institute said.

According to the institute, the phreatic event "was likely driven by the continued emission of hot volcanic gases at the crater and could be succeeded by similar phreatic activity."

"The background levels of volcanic earthquake activity and ground deformation detected at Taal indicate that unrest is unlikely to progress into magmatic eruption," it added.

The institute warned that alert level 1 prevails over the volcano, which means that it is still in abnormal condition, and sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten surrounding areas.

The institute has advised pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.

The Philippine archipelago straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Taal volcano, 66 km south of Manila, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, last erupted in January 2020, displacing nearly 380,000 villagers and destroyed many farms, houses and roads in the province.

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