One of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes, Taal Volcano, is preparing for an expected explosive and devastating eruption. The Philippines’ most destructive eruption by the dangerous Taal Volcano happened in 1754, when the volcano erupted for over 6 months. It brought days of ink-black darkness, buried 4 towns in the province of Batangas (where Taal is one of them), and changed the topography and characteristics of the volcano and lake system. Needless to say, written records explain the devastation and horror it brought. Taal has erupted several times since then, but nothing close to what happened in 1754. But history may sadly repeat itself. Experts are speculating that a coming major eruption is imminent, and may mimic the horror of the 1754 eruption.
Currently, more than 500,000 people have been evacuated. The alert level is a 4 out of 5, and volcanic ash has reached places as far as 100 miles away. The volcano has been gushing out lava and ash for days, and lightning storms over the crater have been witnessed often. The director of Earth & Planetary Science Division of the University of Hong Kong, Joseph Michalski, stated, “The ash is what will kill you, not the lava. The ash flow from an exploding volcano can travel hundreds of kilometers per hour.” Local authorities fear the ongoing ash fall would contaminate air and water supplies in nearby regions, including Manila, the capital of the Philippines, which is roughly 40 miles away. The ash has shards of glass that could injure the lungs of unsuspecting people who inhale the air filled with the ash fall. Experts have been monitoring the volcano since March of 2019, and are worried that recent developments may bring about a major catastrophe. Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Renato Solidum Jr explained what makes Taal so dangerous if a major explosion does occur. Most volcanoes have a small crater on a high elevation, but Taal’s crater is very wide, and very low, surrounded by water. The pyroclastic flow could spread over hundreds of miles travelling around 80 miles an hour even across water. Volcanic tsunamis are the least of the worries, but only the experts really can tell what horrors await the areas around the Philippines’ Taal Volcano. We hope the catastrophe of the 1754 explosive eruption does not happen again. Only time will tell for sure.