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Taal volcano spews ash; Philippines evacuating residents, watching for tsunami

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Philippines evacuates residentsThe Philippines is bracing for a major eruption from one of its most active volcanoes amid escalating agitation Sunday that sent ash spewing as far as the capital and prompted the evacuation of thousands.

The column of ash released from the Taal volcano in Batangas province, almost two hours south of the capital, rose six to nine miles at around 5:30 p.m. local time.

Two hours later, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert status to Level 4, which means a “hazardous explosive eruption” was expected within hours to days. The highest alert, Level 5, is reserved for ongoing magma eruption.

The agency also warned that surrounding areas were at risk of a volcanic tsunami. A volcano can “displace a great volume of water and generate extremely destructive tsunami waves in the immediate source area,” according to the International Tsunami Information Center.


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