Thousands flee homes in Philippines as Volcano spew ash, lava

Residents look on at the erupting volcano (Photo: Reuters)

The Taal Volcano in the Philippines began erupting on Sunday, and has caused almost 20,000 people to flee their homes.

Ash coats the roofs of homes in Tagaytay on January 14.
Residents flee homes and volcano spew ash (Photo: cnn)

The Volcano is located about 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of the capital Manila on the island of Luzon. It has been sending ash up to nine miles (14 kilometers) into the air and prompting warnings of a possible “explosive eruption” and large-scale evacuations.

People from Batangas and Cavite provinces have sought shelter in 118 temporary evacuation centers set up by authorities. But the total number of evacuees is likely to be higher, with some choosing to stay with family members and relatives in other parts of the country.

People watch from Tagaytay, Philippines, as plumes of smoke and ash rise from Taal Volcano on Sunday, January 12.
Residents look on at the volcano (Photo: cnn)

But officials said a number of residents were beginning to return to their homes close to the volcano to tend farms, livestock or fetch personal belongings.

A resident splashes water on a vehicle covered in ash in Talisay.
The effect of the Taal Volcano (Photo: cnn)

The Philippine officials are appealing to residents not to return to their homes in the danger zone of an erupting volcano as it continues to spew plumes of ash and lava fountains, with earthquakes regularly shaking the ground.