WORLD


Flights cancelled and thousands evacuate as Philippine volcano threatens to erupt

Baku, January 13, AZERTAC

A volcano near the Philippine capital Manila spewed a massive cloud of ash into the sky on Sunday, forcing the precautionary evacuation of thousands of residents and the suspension of flights, according to AFP.

Government seismologists recorded magma moving towards the crater of Taal, one of the country's most active volcanoes located 65 kilometres (40 miles) south of Manila.

That increases the chances of an eruption that could happen "within days to within weeks" if such activity continues, Renato Solidum, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told AFP.

Taal's last eruption was in 1977, he added.

A kilometer-high column of ash was visible and several volcanic tremors were felt within the vicinity of the volcano, which is popular among tourists for its scenic view.

The local disaster office said it had evacuated over 2,000 residents living on the volcanic island, which lies inside a bigger lake formed by previous volcanic activity.

Mr Solidum said officials will also order the evacuation of people living on another island nearby if the situation worsens.

The Philippine airport authority on Sunday suspended flights at Manila's international airport.

"Flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been temporarily suspended due to the volcanic ash from the eruption of Taal Volcano," the Manila International Airport Authority tweeted.

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