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Philippines declares the state of calamity in the province of Taal volcano

January 13, 2020
Columna de humo y cenizas del volcan Taal

Smoke and ash column of Taal volcano – George Buid / ZUMA Wire / dpa

An expert from the Institute of Volcanology says that the eruption could be like “the explosion of an atomic bomb” with less energy

MADRID, Jan. 13 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The Philippine authorities have declared a state of calamity throughout the province of Batangas, where the Taal volcano is located, due to the severity of the situation resulting from the eruptions, local television network ABS-CBN reported.

Philippines declares the state of calamity in the province of Taal volcanoPhilippines declares the state of calamity in the province of Taal volcano

Gas and ash eruptions have led authorities to decree the transfer of tens of thousands of people to evacuation centers, according to the deputy governor of the Batangas region, Mark Leviste, who has announced the declaration of the state of calamity, This will allow regional authorities to obtain emergency funds and freeze commodity prices.

The Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Philippines (Phivolcs) has raised the risk of eruptions of the Taal volcano to level four out of five, which means that it is possible that an explosive eruption is recorded in a matter of hours or days.

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The ashes cover the city of Lemery, in the Philippines, after the eruption of the Taal volcano – GETTY

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The ashes cover the city of Lemery, in the Philippines, after the eruption of the Taal volcano – GETTY

The Philippines is in the so-called Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanoes in an area of ​​the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are often recorded frequently. Taal, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, has erupted more than 30 times in the last five centuries, the last in 1977. In 1911, an eruption of the Taal killed 1,500 people and another recorded in 1754 it lasted for several months.

This Monday, Antonia Bornas, an expert from the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Philippines, has warned that the eruption of Taal will resemble the “explosion of an atomic bomb” but not with the same energy. “The closest comparison to the dangerous eruption of the Taal volcano is the explosion of an atomic bomb, apparently but not in energy,” he said.

The expert from the Philippine center has explained that the eruption will involve the expulsion of fragments and columns of gases. “There will be an imposing eruptive column and a ring that will surround the base. The main danger will be at the base,” he predicted.

Bornas has said that the eruption will involve the expulsion of ashes and volcanic gases, landslides, fissures and even a possible “volcanic tsunami.”

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A citizen walks near the eruption zone of the Taal volcano in the city of Talisay, Philippines – GETTY

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A lightning storm in the center of an ash cloud caused by the eruption of the Taal volcano in the Philippines – GETTY

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has reported that the Taal volcano has entered the magmatic eruption phase on Monday, dumping the first lava rivers and generating more than 75 volcanic earthquakes.

“These facts probably mean the continuous magmatic intrusion under the volcano, which can lead to increased eruptive activity,” UNOCHA has warned. The unstable situation of the volcano has led to the cancellation of more than 300 national flights and 230 international flights and the closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on the night from Sunday to Monday.

Local authorities have evacuated populations located on a perimeter of fourteen kilometers from the main crater of the volcano. Until Monday, according to UNOCHA, more than 24,500 people have been transferred to 75 evacuation centers. It is estimated that in the areas framed in those fourteen kilometers of perimeters there are about 460,000 people.

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