Restive Taal volcano expels gases, steam in Philippines

The Taal volcano after an eruption sent ash and steam hundreds of metres into the sky, pictured on March 26, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (XINHUA) - A restive volcano near the Philippine capital Manila expelled magmatic gases and steam on Thursday (March 31) morning, days after a phreatomagmatic eruption over the weekend.

In a video post on Facebook, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it recorded a phreatomagmatic burst from the main crater of Taal volcano at 10.39am local time.

Before the burst, the institute did not detect any volcanic earthquake. But it noted that a "low-level background tremor" has persisted since Wednesday.

The volcano island is located in Batangas province, 66km south of Manila. On March 26, the institute raised the volcanic activity alert level to 3 on a scale of 5 following a phreatomagmatic eruption. The government has evacuated over 7,000 people from 18 villages around the volcano.

A phreatomagmatic eruption occurs when magma and water interact, leading to the ejection of steam and pyroclastic fragments.

The Taal volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, last erupted in January 2020, displacing nearly 380,000 villagers and destroying many farms, houses and roads in the provinces nearby.

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