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Taal volcano in Philippines spews lava, ash for third day, 30,000 flee

A volcano near the Philippine capital spewed lava, ash and steam, and trembled constantly on Tuesday (Jan 14), the third day of an eruption that could portend a much bigger and dangerous eruption, officials warned as tens of thousands of people fled ash-blanketed villages in the danger zone.

The continuing restiveness of the Taal volcano after it rumbled to life on Sunday indicates that magma may still be rising to the crater, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

It raised the alert level to four, indicating a hazardous eruption is possible in hours to days. level five, the highest, means such an eruption is underway.

The volcano was spurting fountains of red-hot lava 500m into the sky with dark grey plumes of ash-laden steam that reached 2km high. The massive volcanic column at times flashed with streaks of lightning.

More than 200 earthquakes have been detected in and around Taal, 81 of which were felt with varying intensities.

“Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” the volcanology institute said.

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