2021 Photo Contest, Nature, 2nd Prize

Taal Volcano Eruption

12 January, 2020

Residents of the town of Talisay in Batangas, Philippines, use plastic bags to shield themselves from ash mixed with rainwater, as the volcano erupts.

Taal Volcano, in Batangas province, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, began erupting on 12 January, spewing ash up to 14 kilometers into the air. The volcano generated ashfalls and volcanic thunderstorms, forcing evacuations from the surrounding area. The eruption progressed into a magmatic eruption, characterized by a lava fountain with thunder and lightning. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, a total of 212,908 families, nearly 750,000 people, were affected by the eruption. Damage caused to infrastructure and livelihoods, such as farming, fishing and tourism, was put at around US$70 million. Taal volcano is in a large caldera filled by Taal Lake, and is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. It is a ‘complex volcano’, which means it doesn't have one vent or cone but several eruption points that have changed over time. Taal has had 34 recorded historical eruptions in the past 450 years, most recently in 1977. As with other volcanoes in the Philippines, Taal is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of major seismic activity that has one of the world's most active fault lines.

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