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  • The Taal volcano expelling ash, in Talisay (Philippines)

    The Taal volcano expelling ash, in Talisay (Philippines) | Photo: EFE

Published 15 January 2020

The Philippine archipelago is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire

Between 80,000 and 90,000 people have been evacuated on the Philippine island of Luzon due to the eruption of the Taal volcano, which kept today Batangas province in stage-four alert.

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The authorities regret that inhabitants of several nearby towns are resisting evacuation or disregarding police cordons to return to their homes, to clean the roofs, overloaded with the weight of ashes, or to feed the animals that they left behind.

Opposing transfer to safe places or irresponsibly returning to places near the volcano is very dangerous. Some areas look like deserts or ghost towns due to ashes, said Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste.

On the other hand, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reiterated that the Taal could spew out larger quantities of lava than the relatively small ones it is spewing out now and even cause a tsunami in the waters of the lake in whose center, on an island, it is located.

The worst eruption of a volcano in the Philippines in recent times was that of the Pinatubo in 1991, which resulted in the death of 800 people. However, this tragedy was surpassed by an eruption of the Taal in 1911, which killed some 1,300 people.

The Philippine archipelago is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Since it has some of the most important subduction areas of the planet, there are frequent and fierce earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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