TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTS in PHILIPPINES

TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTS in PHILIPPINES
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The TAAL volcano in the Philippines, began erupting at about 2:00 AM eastern US time Sunday, prompting authorities to issue a LEVEL 3 DANGER WARNING. Previous eruptions of this volcano have been so large and so violent, they killed ~6,000 in years past.

Taal Volcano (Filipino: Bulkang Taal, Spanish: Volcán Taal) is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 34 historical eruptions. All of these eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake. The lake partially fills Taal Caldera, which was formed by prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 and 5,380 BP. Viewed from the Tagaytay Ridge in Cavite, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines. It is located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital of the country, the city of Manila.

The volcano has had several violent eruptions in the past, causing loss of life in the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll estimated at around to 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and its eruptive history, the volcano was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. All volcanoes of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

 

Taal Volcano and Lake are wholly located in the province of Batangas. The northern half of Volcano Island falls under the jurisdiction of the lake shore town of Talisay, and the southern half to San Nicolas. The other communities that encircle Taal Lake include the cities of Tanauan and Lipa, and the municipalities of Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo, Santa Teresita, Alitagtag, Cuenca, Balete and Mataas na Kahoy.

Permanent settlement on the island is prohibited by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS, declaring the whole Volcano Island as a high-risk area and a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ). Despite the warnings, poor families have settled on the island, risking their lives, earning a living by fishing and farming crops from the rich volcanic soil.

Today's eruption was not expected.  Authorities are fearful that the volcano may erupt very much larger, possibly impacting Manilla, 31 miles away.

Lightning is now coming out of the volcano! ! ! !

 

 And MORE Lightning:

To give readers some idea of the ferociousness of this volcano, here is a written report of its eruption in the year 1754:

Taal Volcano's greatest recorded eruption occurred in 1754 and lasted from May 15 to December 1. The following is the narrative account of Fr. Buencuchillo, parish priest of Sala, and stationed at Taal at that time:

On May 15, 1754, at about 9 or 10 o'clock in the night, the volcano quite unexpectedly commenced to roar and emit, sky-high, burning flames intermixed with glowing rocks which, falling back upon the island and rolling down the slopes of the mountain, created the impression of a large river of fire. During the following days there appeared in the lake a large quantity of pumice stone which had been ejected by the volcano. Part of these ejecta had also reached the hamlet of Bayuyungan and completely destroyed it.
The volcano continued thus until June 2, during the night of which the eruption reached such proportions that the falling ejecta made the entire island appear to be on fire, and it was even feared that the catastrophe might involve the shores of the lake. From the said 2nd of June until September 25, the volcano never ceased to eject fire and mud of such bad character that the best ink does not cause so black a stain.
During the night of September 25, the fire emitted was quite extraordinary and accompanied by terrifying rumblings. The strangest thing was, that within the black column of smoke issuing from the volcano ever since June 2, there frequently formed thunderstorms, and it happened that the huge tempest cloud would scarcely ever disappear during two months.
At daybreak of September 26 we found ourselves forced to abandon our dwelling for fear lest the roofs come down upon us under the weight of ashes and stones which had fallen upon them during that hapless night. In fact, some weaker buildings collapsed. The depth of the layer of ashes and stones exceeded two "cuartas" (45 centimeters), and the result was that there was neither tree nor other plant which it did not ruin or crush, giving to the whole region an aspect as if a devastating conflagration had swept over it. After this the volcano calmed down considerably, though not sufficiently to offer any prospect of tranquility.
During the night of November 1, Taal resumed its former fury, ejecting fire, rocks, sand, and mud in greater quantities than ever before. On November 15, it vomited enormous boulders which rolling down the slopes of the island, fell into the lake and caused huge waves [note(added by Saderra Maso): The waves mentioned were most probably due to the earthquake rather than to the falling rocks]. The paroxysms were accompanied by swaying motions of the ground which caused all the houses of the town to totter. We had already abandoned our habitation and were living in a tower which appeared to offer greater security; but on this occasion we resolved that the entire population retire to the Sanctuary of Casaysay, only the "Administrator" and myself to remain on the spot.
At 7 in the evening of November 28 occurred a new paroxysm, during which the volcano vomited forth such masses of fire and ejecta that in my opinion, all the material ejected during so many months, if taken together, would not equal the quantity which issued at the time. The columns of fire and smoke ascended higher than ever before, increasing every moment in volume, and setting fire to the whole island, there being not the smallest portion of the latter which was not covered by the smoke and the glowing rocks and ashes. All this was accompanied by terrific lightning and thunder above, and violent shocks of earthquakes underneath. The cloud of ejecta, carried on by the wind, extended itself toward west and south with the result that we saw already some stones fall close to our shore. I, therefore, shouted to all those who were still in the town to take to flight and we all ran off in a hurry; otherwise we would have been engulfed on the spot; as the waves of the angry lake began already to flood the houses nearest to the beach.
We left the town, fleeing this living picture of Sodom, with incessant fear lest the raging waters of the lake overtake us, which were at the moment invading the main part of the town, sweeping away everything they encountered. On the outskirts of the town, I came upon a woman who was so exhausted by her burden of two little children and a bundle of clothing that she could proceed no farther. Moved by pity, I took one of the toddlers from her and carried him, and the little indio who has been wailing while in the arms of his mother, stopped short when I took him into mine and never uttered a sound while I was carrying him a good piece of the way.
Having reached a secure place on elevated ground at a distance of about half a league (2 kilometres or 1.2 miles) from the town, we halted in a hut to rest a little and take some food. From this spot the volcano could be contemplated with a little more serenity of mind. It still continued in full fury, ejecting immense masses of material. Now I also observed that the earth was in continuous, swaying motion, a fact which I had failed to notice during the excitement and fear of the flight.
Shortly afterward the volcano suddenly subsided almost suddenly; its top was clear and apparently calm. We, therefore, returned on the following day, the 29th, to the town with the intention of surveying the havoc wrought during the preceding night.
The 29th had dawned calm, but while we were still trying to persuade ourselves that the tragedy was over and the volcano had exhausted its bowels, at about 8 o'clock, we heard a crash and then I noticed that smoke was rising from the point of the island that looks towards east. The smoke spread very gradually as far as the crater of the volcano, while there were many whiffs issuing from points in the direction of another headland. I realized that the island had opened in these places and fearing that, if a crater should open below the water, an explosion might follow, much more formidable than the preceding ones, I mounted a horse and retired permanently to the Sanctuary of Caysasay.
Between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the said 29th, it began to rain mud and ashes at Caysasay (12 miles or 19 kilometres from the volcano) and this rain lasted three days. The most terrifying circumstance was that the whole sky was shrouded in such darkness that we could not have seen the hand placed before the face, had it not been for the sinister glare of incessant lightnings. Nor could we use artificial light as this was extinguished by the wind and copious ashes which penetrated everywhere. All was horror those three days, which appeared rather like murky nights and we did not occupy ourselves with anything but see to it that the natives swept off the roofs the large quantities of ashes and stones which kept on accumulating upon them and threatened to bring them down upon us, burying us alive beneath their weight. But fearing that even these precautions might prove unavailing, we 3 Europeans – viz. Fr. Prior, the Alcalde, and myself – the only ones who were at the time in the Convento of Caysasay, took refuge on the landing of the stairs; as the safest place, and awaited there whatever God might dispose with regard to us. To all this was added incessant thunder and lightning, and it really looked as if the world was going to pieces and its axis had been displaced.
During the night of the 30th we had not a moment of repose, as every moment we heard the loud crush of houses collapsing under of stones, mud, and ashes piled upon them, and feared that the turn of the convento and the church of Casasay would come in next. Shortly before daybreak of December 1 there was a tremendous crash as if the house were coming down on our heads: the roof of the apse of the church had caved in! Not long afterward, the roof of their kitchen gave away with a thud. Both were tile roofs.
The first of December broke somewhat clear and our eyes contemplated everywhere ruins and destruction. The layer of ashes and mud was more than 5 spans [1.10 m] thick, and it was almost a miracle that the roof of the church and convento sustained so great a weight. We caused the bulk of the material to be removed, while new continued to fall on that day and the following, on which latter the direction of the wind changed, carrying the ejecta toward Balayan. On the 3rd and 4th we had a formidable typhoon, and thereafter the volcano quieted down.
Soon afterward I resolved to visit my town of Taal; nothing was left of it except the walls of the church and convento. All the rest, the government house, the walks of the rope factory, the warehouse, everything was buried beneath a layer of stones, mud, and ashes more than 10 spans [2.20 m] thick; only here and there could be seen an upright post, the only remnant of a comfortable dwelling. I went down to the river and found it completely filled up, with a boat belonging to the alcalde and many of private persons buried in the mud. After incredible efforts I finally succeeded in unearthing in what had once been the church and sacristy, the chests which contained the sacred vestments and vessels. Nearly all of them were demolished by the rocks and beams which had fallen upon them, and filled with foul-smelling mud that had ruined or disfigured their contents. With the aid of some natives of Bauang, I likewise recovered some property from among the ruins of the convento.
Twelve persons are known to have perished – some carried away by the waves of the lake, others crushed beneath their collapsing houses. Thus the beautiful town of Taal remains a deserted wilderness and reduced to the utmost misery, while once it was one of the richest and most flourishing places. In the villages to the west of the lake, which were the greater and better part, all the houses have either collapsed under the load of material which had been piled upon them or have disappeared completely, swept away by the waves which in these places were so violent that they dug three ditches or channels, too wide and deep to be forded, and thus rendered impassable the road which joins the town with Balayan. In other parts of the lake shore have likewise opened many cracks and occurred very extensive slides. The worst of all is, that, the mouth of the river Pansipit having been blocked, the lake is rising and invading the towns of Lipa and Tanauan, both being on the lowest level, and inundating their buildings. All the animals of whatever kind have perished, some by being buried, others by drowning, the rest by starving, as not a green blade remained anywhere.
The same fate as Taal has befallen the towns of Lipa, Tanauan, and so much of Sala as still existed. These towns, together with Taal, lay around the lake, being situated within easy reach of it, and less than one league (12 miles or 19 kilometres) from the volcano. The bulk of the population left this neighborhood and settled in more distant places. Thus out of 1200 taxpayers whom Taal contained formerly, hardly 150 remain in the poorest and least respectable villages, which suffered little from the rain of ashes.[27]

 

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