The Philippines Faces Fiery Volcano Eruption as Year Begins
Rock&Gem Magazine|March 2020
Shortly after the New Year began, on January 12, the 1,020-foot high Taal Volcano near the Philippine capital of Manila let loose.
JIM BRACE-THOMPSON

It sent a cloud of steam and ash nearly 10 miles into the air, darkened the sky, and spewed forth lava in high fiery fountains. The ash cloud created its own weather system, generating thunder and lightning.

Given that the volcano sits in the midst of a large lake, there were worries that a truly huge eruption could also unleash a tsunami. As I write this in mid-January, already, ash is creating dangerous conditions as it blankets at least two Philippine provinces and forces the closure of the country’s main airport in the capital city some 40 miles away.

Although one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, Taal is considered one of the two most active in the Philippines. A major eruption in 1965 killed more than 200 people. With the latest activity, 30,000 people have been displaced to date. Schools, businesses, and government offices have been closed.

As fissures appear and as hundreds of small tremors shake the ground, it’s believed that an even more serious eruption is imminent. The current threat level has been put at 4 on a scale of 5, with 5 meaning that a disastrous eruption is underway. Stay tuned!

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