Thousands of residents in the Philippines evacuated their homes on Monday as a volcano erupted with heavy ash and lava, and experts warn the eruption could become more serious in the coming days.
The Taal volcano, located 65 miles south of the country’s capital, Manila, began erupting on Sunday and sent clouds of ash north through the city, causing the country to shut down their main airport and cancel more than 500 flights. So far, there have been no reports of casualties or major damage, however over 30,000 people have been evacuated from communities near the volcano with more evacuating every hour in anticipation of another eruption.
The Philippines and surrounding islands have a long history with catastrophic volcanic eruptions. In 2006, the Mayon volcano erupted and coated the area with volcanic ash that inevitably created devastating mudslides during a typhoon later in the year. The Pinatubo volcano in 1991 was the second-largest eruption of the 20th century and produced mountainous clouds of hot ash and gas across the entire island, ultimately killing 847 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
The last eruption from Taal was recorded in 1977. In total, the country houses 25 active volcanoes and all are a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.