Philippines: Taal Volcano spews ash — in pictures
With Taal Volcano showing signs of an impending eruption, local authorities have issued an evacuation order. Taal has not erupted in decades, but one catastrophic event in 1911 killed more than 1,000 people.
Making an escape
A family living near the Taal volcano evacuates Lemery, Batangas City. Over 16,000 people were evacuated from areas surrounding the eruption on Monday.
Covered in dust
Ashfall after the eruption of the Taal volcano covers Tagaytay City on Monday. Facemasks sold out in cities across Luzon, while over 500 flights from Manila's international airport were canceled. One person also died following a car crash due to zero-visibility conditions on the road.
Rains of ash, mud and stones
In the nearby town of Talisay, ordinary umbrellas were no use against the thick ash, mud and even stones that began to rain down as people prepared for evacuation. The volcano lies around 65 kilometers (45 miles) south of the capital, Manila, where some parts of the city have also enacted mandatory evacuation orders.
Taal is one of the world's smallest active volcanoes, but also one of the most active in the Philippines — although it has not erupted since 1977. An eruption in 1911 claimed more than 1,000 lives, and authorities have warned of a possible "explosive eruption" to come.
Thousands forced to leave
More than 8,000 people were ordered to evacuate from the Cavite province between Manila and Taal on Sunday. The area next to the small volcano is a tourist attraction, bringing thousands to the area. Over 6,000 had successfully left the area by Sunday evening.
The huge column of ash, which was struck by lightning on Sunday evening, also caused all flights in and out of Manila's international airport to be suspended. The Philippine Institute of of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level to four out of five, meaning that a hazardous eruption could take place at any time.
Immense column of smoke
Residents watched from afar as Taal Volcano in the Philippines spewed smoke to heights of up to 15 kilometers (9 miles) on Sunday. Seismologists have predicted a major eruption. Villages on the edge of the lake where the volcano is located have been evacuated.
Ash covers everything
Ash has mixed with rainwater, covering residents trying to evacuate. People in the Philippines are painfully aware of the havoc that nature can wreak, after a typhoon over Christmas destroyed homes and claimed lives.