Vol­cano stops flights to Manila

The Citizen (KZN) - - World - Tal­isay City

– Lava and broad col­umns of ash il­lu­mi­nated by light­ning spewed from a vol­cano south of the Philip­pine cap­i­tal yes­ter­day, ground­ing hun­dreds of flights as au­thor­i­ties warned of a pos­si­ble “ex­plo­sive erup­tion”.

Fine grit coated homes and streets across the re­gion sur­round­ing the Taal vol­cano, which burst to life on Sun­day, ac­com­pa­nied by a se­ries of earth­quakes, forc­ing at least 10 000 peo­ple to seek refuge in evac­u­a­tion cen­tres.

“You could not sleep any more, be­cause ev­ery time you closed your eyes, the house would shake,” restau­rant owner Lia Mon­teverde said, say­ing the quakes came min­utes apart. “All of us didn’t sleep at all. We just pre­pared to leave.”

Taal sits in a pic­turesque lake and is one of the most ac­tive vol­ca­noes in a na­tion where earth­quakes and erup­tions are a fright­en­ing and de­struc­tive part of life.

The Philip­pines sits on the Pa­cific Ring of Fire, where tec­tonic plates col­lide deep be­low the Earth’s sur­face. Dust masks sold out in stores as au­thor­i­ties warned the ash could cause res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems. Lim­ited flight op­er­a­tions re­sumed at mid­day yes­ter­day at Manila’s main in­ter­na­tional air­port, nearly a day af­ter au­thor­i­ties halted them due to the safety risk vol­canic ash poses to planes.

The erup­tion be­gan with an explosion of su­per­heated steam and rock, but yes­ter­day “foun­tains” of lava were spot­ted on Taal, the Philip­pine In­sti­tute of Vol­canol­ogy and Seis­mol­ogy said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.