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Taal volcano news – live: Cracks spotted in earth and more quakes spark fear of huge explosion as police extend blockade

Follow the latest updates as people return to their homes despite warnings

Samuel Osborne,Vincent Wood
Thursday 16 January 2020 19:40 GMT
Lightning strikes as Philippines' Taal volcano erupts

A volcano in the Philippines has been shuddering continuously with earthquakes and opening cracks in nearby roads as police blockaded at-risk towns over fears of a bigger eruption.

More than 53,000 residents have fled their homes in the vicinity of the Taal volcano to take shelter in evacuation centres, though thousands more have refused to leave or have returned to check on their animals and possessions.

Many houses and farms have been damaged by volcanic ash since Taal, one of the country’s most active and deadliest volcanoes, began spewing lava and ash on Sunday.

Follow the latest updates


A volcano in the Philippines has been shuddering continuously with earthquakes and opening cracks in nearby roads, with seismologists warning the danger of an eruption remains high.

Police have blockaded at least four at-risk towns over fears of a bigger eruption and warned evacuees not to return to their homes.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 07:45

A crater lake and nearby river have dried up amid warnings of an imminent eruption.

Soldiers and police have blocked villagers from sneaking back by boats to the volcanic island and nearby towns to check on their animals and possessions.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 08:01

Many houses and farms have been damaged by volcanic ash since Taal started erupting on Sunday.

At least 53,000 people have been evacuated and are taking shelter in evacuation centres. No deaths or major injuries have been reported so far.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 08:15

"We are analysing what this seeming calm of the volcano means," Maria Antonia Bornas, chief science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said.

The lake inside Taal has dried up, Ms Bornas said, which was to be expected since it began spewing lava fountains a day after it shot giant clouds of ash miles into the air on Sunday.

Phivolcs said volcanic activity had "generally waned to weak emission of steam-laden plumes".

Even so, it had recorded more than 100 tremors since Wednesday, meaning magma was still rising.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 08:34

A couple got married under a gigantic cloud of ash and smoke from the Taal volcano on Sunday, which made for some dramatic photos, Sabrina Barr reports:

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 08:55

More than 121,000 people have fled their homes just in Batangas province, which has declared a state of calamity to allow faster releases of emergency funds.

At least 373 evacuation sites were crammed with displaced villagers and needed more ash masks, portable toilets, bottled water and sleeping mats, according to a provincial disaster-response office.

The government's main-disaster agency reported a little more than 65,000 people were displaced by the eruption in Batangas and Cavite province. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 09:14

"We've lost everything, our house got damaged, but I need to retrieve my pots and cooking wares and other things. They should not be very, very strict," 59-year-old Erlinda Landicho told the Associated Press.

Ms Landicho, who fled with her son from Lemery municipality as the volcano erupted, was among a throng of villagers stopped by police from reentering the ash-blanketed town after a firetruck blocked a key access road and police set up checkpoints.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 09:34

A 65-year-old woman has died of a heart attack while being moved out of Taal town in Batangas province.

Officials said she had been ill and may have been stressed by the calamity.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 09:51
Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 10:11

Among those displaced were about 5,000 people who live on the island where the Taal volcano lies.

Some villagers have slipped past checkpoints to retrieve some of the hundreds of cows and horses they left behind, prompting the coast guard and police to intensify a security cordon.

Samuel Osborne16 January 2020 10:30

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