A continuous eruption from the Philippines’ Taal volcano was observed on Sunday, 12 January 2020, at 5.30 pm. The powerful eruption sent an ash plume 10-15 kilometers (km) into the atmosphere and ashfall as far as Quezon city 65 km away, with volcanic lightning seen flickering continuously in the plume above the volcano. This prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to raise the alert level to Alert Level 4 (hazardous eruption imminent).
Alert Level 4 means that further eruptions are likely in the coming hours or days. The residents of Volcano Island, as well as communities within 14 km of the volcano, have been ordered to evacuate and people are advised to stay away from the volcano. Because the ash plume is currently drifting to the north of the volcano, communities in this region have also been advised to prepare for ashfall.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) urged the evacuation of all people within a 14-km radius because of the continued risk of an explosive eruption, falling ash, and a potential volcanic tsunami. GMA News in the Philippines reported that more than 40,000 residents have evacuated because of the eruption and ashfall. An estimated 450,000 people live in the evacuation zone.
The help from other cities and municipalities poured to the evacuees. Some offered their own homes for the victims of Taal volcano eruptions. Evacuation centers are overpouring with relief operations even those who are affected by the eruptions are also lending a hand in helping fellow evacuees.
While Taal Volcano is a geological marvel, Volcano Island is declared a Permanent Danger Zone.
Lipa City is one of the evacuation places that evacuees who sought shelter during those hard times go. With 20kms away from the Taal main crater, Lipa City is a safe zone for the evacuees to rest and let the storm pass. Lipa City also experienced ashfall with a minimal amount because during the time of eruption the city is lucky to have the wind blowing away from the City. With all that happened, we can conclude that it is safe to live in Lipa City when it comes to considering the Taal volcano eruption.
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