RT Cunningham


The Taal Volcano Eruptions of January 2020

taal volcano eruptionsOn January 12, 2010, the Taal volcano in the Batangas province of the Philippines erupted and exploded three times. Each event happened at around 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm. You can read more about it on the Wikipedia page for the volcano.

The ash from the second explosion reached as far as metro Manila and the Clark Airport. Flights were canceled in Manila and the airport was shut down. As I write this today, the airport is still closed because there’s ash on the runway that has to be cleared. Authorities believe the volcano will erupt again.

The Taal Volcano in Batangas

I’ve never seen the volcano closer than a vantage point in the city of Tagaytay in the Cavite province. I’ve only seen it two times from that vantage point. The first time was in 2006, and the second time was in 2016, 10 years apart. Both times, all the people from my compound in Olongapo took a trip to visit one of my aunts in the Batangas province. She lives near the city of Lemery. My wife, Josie, lived with her for a few years in the 1970s.

The active volcano is a volcano within a volcano. The volcano island is in the middle of Taal Lake, which stretches from ridge to ridge of the Taal Caldera. The caldera was supposedly formed from eruptions more than 100,000 years ago.

The News Description

The description of events put out by news organizations is mostly accurate. This line from Reuters makes no sense at all: “Authorities said there was a risk that an eruption could cause a tsunami in the lake.”

A tsunami is a large ocean wave, which can be caused by underwater earthquake. The term doesn’t apply to lakes, especially lakes as small as this one. Even if authorities said it, it shouldn’t be repeated.

More Eruptions and Explosions

Various news sources (and opinion sites) are saying the authorities expect many more Taal volcano eruptions. They can’t predict what happens, of course.

A lava fountain was observed at 3:20 am on the 13th (Philippine Standard Time) after another eruption. I have found no news more recent than that.

This is an ongoing story, so I’ll update it again if necessary.

Photo Attribution: ladyamihan4 at Pixabay

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By RT Cunningham
January 12, 2020