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Alert level 4 on Taal Volcano: Ashfall reaches Metro Manila, thousands stranded at airports

by | EDITOR’S CHOICE

Jan. 12, 20 | 8:53 pm

The phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano has reached Philippine capital of Manila, prompting the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to suspend all flights and for all of the 16 mayors of the metropolis to declare suspension of classes tomorrow.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said residents from the south such as in Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Paranaque and Taguig first reported experiencing the ashfall.

This is the second time Metro Manila experienced an ashfall from volcanic eruption in recent history. The first one was during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Taal is 50 kilometers away from the Philippine capital which has over 12 million population.

According to Metro Manila Development Authority, ashfall was also reported as far as the following areas in the north of Metro Manila:

  • Bulacan
  • Pampanga
  • Bataan
  • Tarlac
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Eastern portion of Pangasinan
  • Southeastern portion of Zambales

 

The ash fall triggered local disaster and health officials to issue advisories, including asking everyone to stay indoors, wear masks and monitor further advisories.

Some residents ran to local drug stores to buy masks. Netizens reported that some districts have reported a supply run of masks.

At 7:30pm, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised to Alert 4 on Taal Volcano — which means that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

Meanwhile, CAAP suspended the flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Sunday night due to the presence of volcanic ash clouds on major traffic airways.

A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued for departing flights from 6pm to 11pm and 7pm to 11pm for arriving flights to NAIA.

A number of flights were diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

Thousands of passengers were stranded inside NAIA and also in the domestic and international terminals of airlines earlier scheduled to fly back to Manila. According to airport officials, cancelling operations is a preventive measure because volcanic ashes are not detected by airplane radars.

The Philippine Embassy in Jordan released a list of contact numbers of the Office of Civil Defense – Region 4A for overseas Filipino workers who want to check on the situation of their families in the region.

Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines. Its last eruption was recorded 43 years ago, in 1977. But its most destructive on the record occurred in 1965 that devastated villages on the lake shore and killed about a hundred people.

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WATCH: Christians celebrate Palm Sunday in front of TV, laptops

WATCH: Christians celebrate Palm Sunday in front of TV, laptops

Pope Francis led millions of Catholics in celebrating Palm Sunday, the first of the series of Holy Week, while the world is battling a coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has infected more than 1.2 million people and killed 64,000 worldwide. During today’s St....

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