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Evacuate thousands and suspend flights in anticipation of a volcano eruption in the Philippines

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)

The Philippine authorities warned on Sunday of an imminent eruption of the volcano Tal, one of the most active volcanoes in the country, hours after it launched thick smoke that forced officials to suspend flights at the main capital airport until further notice.

The authorities evacuated thousands of people residing near the volcano site, after a cloud of thick smoke billowed from its crater and recorded tremors in the area.

And the National Seismological Agency warned of “the possibility of a dangerous eruption (of the volcano) in the coming hours or days,” while a portion of the population has not settled on the issue of vacating their homes.

On Sunday, a thick cloud of smoke rose from the crater Tal, located 65 km south of the capital.

“I am afraid that (the volcano) will explode … but I am giving in to destiny,” hotel worker Eduardo Carreno told AFP.

All flights to and from Ninoy Aquino Airport in Manila were canceled, with smoke rising to 1.5 km.

On Sunday hours, the authorities announced the suspension of the flights, later announcing their suspension “until further notice.”

The Minister of Transport Arthur Tugadi has instructed aviation officials to “do whatever is necessary for the public good,” according to a joint statement of the transport and aviation authorities.

The authorities said that they would conduct an assessment of the situation on Monday morning.

“Danger of inhalation of ash” –

Seismologists have observed lava approaching the crater of Tal, one of the country’s most active volcanoes.

The volcano erupted the last time in 1977, according to Renato Solidum, director of the Center for Volcanic and Seismic Studies in the Philippines.

Smoke rose from the volcano and the area’s residents felt a number of volcanic tremors.

And evacuated more than two thousand people from the island where the volcano is located, in an area that includes a lake and is favored by tourists, as a precaution, as confirmed by the local authorities.

The center announced that the authorities will issue eviction orders to the residents of another island if the situation worsens.

“The ash has reached Manila … and it is dangerous if it is inhaled,” said Solidum.

On social media, images of thick ash covering cars and balconies were spread out, asking for information on how to obtain dust masks.

The Philippines often witnesses volcanic and seismic activity due to its presence on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates intersect.

Two years ago, the eruption of the “Mayon Mountain” volcano in the central Bicol region forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes.

In the year 1991, the country witnessed the most powerful volcanic eruption as a result of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo volcano, which is located about a hundred kilometers northwest of Manila, killing more than 800 people.

The volcano then launched a cloud of smoke, traveling thousands of kilometers in days, and more than twenty aircraft were damaged.

The Philippines has been hit by violent earthquakes in recent decades, with a magnitude of 7.8, which hit the tourist city of Baguio in 1990.

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