More than 2,000 flee as Philippine volcano spews toxic gas

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 03, 2021, 01:05 PM(IST)

Noted as the Philippines' second most active volcano, Taal volcano might lead to 'volcanic tsunami' within days or hours because of the hazardous eruption of steam, ash and lava.  Photograph:( AFP )

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Sitting in a picturesque lake, the Taal volcano, has been pouring out sulphur dioxide for several days. This created a thick haze over Manila and several surrounding provinces and prompting health warnings. 

Philippine officials on Saturday said that over 2,000 people have fled from a volcano eruption that has filled the air near the Philippine capital with toxic gas. 

Sitting in a picturesque lake, the Taal volcano, has been pouring out sulphur dioxide for several days. This created a thick haze over Manila and several surrounding provinces and prompting health warnings. 

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The volcano lies 50 kilometres south of Manila. For the past week, it has discharged volcanic smog that has blotted out the sun in the capital.

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Civil defence officials have warned that upwards of 317,000 people could be vulnerable to toxic gas emissions from the volcano under the current eruption's worst-case scenario.

Taal is considered as one of the most active volcanoes in a nation which is hit periodically by eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", which is a zone of intense seismic activity. 

The last eruption there in January 2020 shot ash 15 kilometres (nine miles) high and spewed red-hot lava, crushing scores of homes, killing livestock and sending over 135,000 people into shelters.

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Provincial disaster official Joselito Castro, while speaking to AFP, said, "We expect more residents to evacuate over the coming days". He further added that they were seeking refuge either in schools closed by the coronavirus pandemic or in the homes of relatives.

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