TAAL volcano in the Philippines has emitted a giant plume of ash, and thousands have been ordered to evacuate. So is the Taal volcano on the Ring of Fire?
Some 8,000 people in the vicinity of the Taal Volcano are being forced to flee the vicinity after a plume of ash was propelled up to nine miles into the sky. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) warned residents of the possibility of a “volcanic tsunami”, after tremors were also reported in the region.
Phivolcs raised its alert level to 4 out of 5, which indicates a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days”.
A level five alert means a hazardous eruption is under way and could affect a larger area.
Due to the ash, Manila has now suspended all flights from its busy international airport.
Manila International Airport Authority tweeted: “Flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been temporarily suspended due to the volcanic ash from the eruption of Taal Volcano.”
Ash from the volcano has fallen as far as the capital, and the plume was visible from the nearby tourist hotspot of Tagaytay.
Jon Patrick Yen, a restaurant customer in Tagaytay, told Reuters: “We were having lunch when we heard rumbling.
“We saw the volcano erupting. It rained and some small pebbles fell to the ground.
“I did not expect to see such spectacle. We just went by to eat.”
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told reporters the evacuation of 8,000 residents is underway.
Some 6,000 people have already been evacuated out of the danger zone.
Local authorities have also cancelled school classes which were scheduled for Monday.
Is Taal volcano on the Ring of Fire?
The Taal volcano lies about 45 miles south of the Philippines capital, Manila.
Situated in a lake, the volcano is one of the country’s most active, with 35 historical eruptions to date.
All volcanoes in the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, including the Taal volcano.
The Ring of Fire, also known as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a region known for its major active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
Seismic and volcanic activity in the area can be attributed to the movement of tectonic plates, and the plates may overlap, known as subduction zones.
These zones mean plates can be pushed down, or subducted, by plates on top of it, causing the plate to melt into magma.
Being so close to the earth’s surface, this magma can prompt volcanic activity.