Some 8,000 people in the vicinity of the Taal Volcano are being forced to flee the vicinity after a plume of ash was propelled up to nine miles into the sky. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) warned residents of the possibility of a “volcanic tsunami”, after tremors were also reported in the region.
Phivolcs raised its alert level to 4 out of 5, which indicates a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days”.
A level five alert means a hazardous eruption is under way and could affect a larger area.
Due to the ash, Manila has now suspended all flights from its busy international airport.
Manila International Airport Authority tweeted: “Flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been temporarily suspended due to the volcanic ash from the eruption of Taal Volcano.”
Ash from the volcano has fallen as far as the capital, and the plume was visible from the nearby tourist hotspot of Tagaytay.
Jon Patrick Yen, a restaurant customer in Tagaytay, told Reuters: “We were having lunch when we heard rumbling.
“We saw the volcano erupting. It rained and some small pebbles fell to the ground.
The Ring of Fire, also known as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a region known for its major active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
Seismic and volcanic activity in the area can be attributed to the movement of tectonic plates, and the plates may overlap, known as subduction zones.
These zones mean plates can be pushed down, or subducted, by plates on top of it, causing the plate to melt into magma.
Being so close to the earth’s surface, this magma can prompt volcanic activity.