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Taal volcano: Manila shuts down, thousands evacuated

Christian Fernsby |
Taal volcano on the main Philippine island of Luzon continued to belch massive columns of ash, steam and lava today, shutting down the capital Manila and setting off massive evacuations in provinces near it.

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Topics: TAAL    VOLCANO    MANILA   

Government seismologists warned that a "hazardous, explosive eruption" could occur at Taal volcano perhaps within days either at the main crater or new vents that were observed on Monday.

"So now, the eruption is not only seen inside the crater but along the side of the volcano as well," Mr Renato Solidum, head of the state-run Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) told reporters.

Schools and government offices were closed today. The stock exchange suspended trading and many private businesses shut for the day too.

Schools and government offices will remain closed tomorrow as well.

Streets that would normally be snarled with some of the world's worst traffic were largely empty.

Flight operations at Manila's international airport partially resumed, after at least 240 flights were delayed or cancelled on yesterday.

Tens of thousands, meanwhile, were evacuated in provinces near Taal. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said over 25,000 had been taken to 75 evacuation centres.

More were expected to be evacuated.

The 14km "danger zone" declared around Taal covers a population of some 460,000.

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