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Tagaytay: Red-hot lava gushed out of a volcano near the Philippine capital on Monday, as thousands of people fled the area through heavy ash.
Experts warned that the eruption could get worse and plans were being made to evacuate hundreds of thousands.
Clouds of ash blew more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of the Taal volcano, reaching Manila, the bustling capital, and forcing the shutdown of the country’s main airport, with more than 500 flights cancelled so far. There have been no reports of casualties or major damage from the eruption, which began on Sunday.
Police said more than 13,000 villagers had moved to evacuation centers in the hard-hit province of Batangas and nearby Cavite province, but officials expect the number to swell with hundreds of thousands more being brought out of harm’s way. The current evacuation numbers are likely higher since local authorities are busy helping displaced people before notifying the national agency that is collating the figures.
Some residents could not move out of ash-blanketed villages due to a lack of transport and poor visibility, while others were refusing to leave their homes and farms.
“We have a problem, our people are panicking due to the volcano because they want to save their livelihood, their pigs and herds of cows,” Mayor Wilson Maralit of Balete town told DZMM radio. (AP)