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Incredible Photos Show The Eruption Of A Volcano In The Philippines That Has Forced Thousands To Flee

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the ongoing eruption has sent a plume of ash and smoke about 6 to 9 miles into the sky.

Posted on January 12, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. ET

Bullit Marquez / AP

People in the city of Tagaytay, south of Manila, watch as Taal volcano spews ash and smoke during the eruption.

One of the Philippines' most active volcanos erupted Sunday, spewing a massive plume of ash and steam miles high and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the area.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert status for the eruption of Taal volcano in the Batangas province south of Manila to a level 4 out of 5 and said that a "hazardous explosive eruption" was possible within hours to days.

The eruption has created a 6- to 9-mile-tall plume with volcanic lightning that showered ashfall as far north as Quezon City, which lies more than 60 miles away northeast of the country's capital. Volcanic tremors have also been felt in the region.

Authorities were working to evacuate more than 6,000 villagers from an island in the middle of the lake where the volcano is located, as well as tens of thousands more from areas near the lake's shore, according to the Associated Press. Authorities feared the eruption could also prompt a tsunami, given the volcano’s location, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

All flights to and from the Manila airport were suspended because of ash clouds affecting nearby air traffic routes, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said.

These pictures show the eruption and how people are evacuating.

Aaron Favila / AP

Lightning flashes as Taal volcano erupts.

Bullit Marquez / AFP via Getty Images

People in Tagaytay take photos of the massive plume of ash and steam from Taal volcano.

Aaron Favila / AP

A man uses an umbrella to shield him from ashfalls in Tagaytay.

Aaron Favila / AP

People in Tagaytay evacuate.

Aaron Favila / AP

Plumes of smoke and ash rise above Tagaytay as Taal volcano erupts.

Bogie Calupitan / AP

Lightning flashes as the volcano erupts.

Aaron Favila / AP

People watch the eruption from the city of Tagaytay.

Aaron Favila / AP

Residents evacuate Tagaytay.