Volcano near Philippine capital rumbling back to life

A volcano close to the Philippine capital is becoming active and may eventually erupt, scientists said as they warned tourists to avoid its famous crater.

Last Updated: Jun 08, 2010, 15:55 PM IST

Manila: A volcano close to the Philippine
capital is becoming active and may eventually erupt,
scientists said today as they warned tourists to avoid its
famous crater.

Taal, located 65 kilometres (40 miles) south of Manila,
is one of the most unstable of the country`s 22 known active
volcanoes with 33 recorded eruptions, the last one in 1977.

Experts raised the second of a five-level alert on Taal
today. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
said volcanic quakes in the area have been occurring since
April and the crater lake was heating up.

"The recorded high frequency volcanic earthquakes could
be the result of active rock fracturing associated with magma
intrusion beneath the volcano," it said in a statement.

"Taal volcano`s status is now raised to alert level 2,
meaning that the volcano is undergoing magmatic intrusion
which could eventually lead to an eruption."

Taal`s crater is surrounded by a lake about 15 kilometres
off the hill resort of Tagaytay, a major tourist destination.

"Phivolcs reminds the general public that the main crater
remains off-limits because hazardous steam-driven explosions
may occur, along with the possible build-up of toxic gases,"
the institute said.

It said a trail leading to the crater was "hazardous".

However, the lake surrounding the crater has prevented
deaths in the 1977 and other eruptions, as the body of water
has protected outlying areas from the lava.

PTI