Eruption Of The Taal Volcano In The Philippines Prompts Local Evacuations & Closure Of Manila Airport

Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport is currently limiting and at times suspending flights after the Taal volcano began to erupt this weekend, advising passengers to check their scheduled for updates.

The sudden volcanic activity causes danger for residents around the volcano itself and aircraft flying through the surrounding airspace contaminated with volcanic ash.

Several hundred flights were cancelled and severely delayed on Sunday and the airport operated on a limited schedule today (Monday), causing many travelers to be stranded in Manila until the situation improves towards more safe conditions.

Channel News Asia (access here) has updated throughout the day and reported about airport closures.

Lava and broad columns of ash illuminated by lightning spewed from a volcano south of the Philippine capital on Monday (Jan 13), grounding hundreds of flights as authorities warned of a possible “explosive eruption”.

Taal volcano, a popular tourist attraction set in the centre of a picturesque lake, spewed ash, rumbled with earthquakes and exploded with lightning above its crest.

More than 16,000 people were evacuated from the volcanic island and the area immediately around it as dozens of tremors set residents on edge. …

Flight operations at Manila’s international airport partially resumed, authorities said, after at least 240 flights were delayed or cancelled on Sunday, snarling plans for tens of thousands of people travelling through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

One flight that did land carried President Rodrigo Duterte, who was coming back from his home city of Davao in the southern Philippines. He had been unable to fly on Sunday because visibility was so low.

Singapore Airlines had announced that several flights between Singapore and Manila on Sunday and Monday are rescheduled to a later time.

AirAsia also cancelled domestic and international flights that connect to cities including Bangkok, Shanghai, Taipei, Osaka and Seoul.

Taal, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes, sits in the middle of a lake about 70km south of the centre of the capital, Manila.

It’s been a good 10 years since I visited the Taal volcano from a far when visiting the Philippines and a friend took me around by car. Whoever has visited a volcano before is most often impressed eve if it’s inactive at the time.

You can access Singapore Airlines information about the Manila schedule here.

Other airlines have published similar schedules and of course Philippine Airlines as the home carrier is the most affected.

Conclusion

Volcanoes have the ability to disrupt the air traffic around it greatly. Most can remember the havoc wreaked by the icelandic volcano something like 8 years ago when all the transatlantic flights had to be cancelled for days.

South East Asia has many volcanoes, especially Indonesia and in this case the Philippines. Hopefully the local residents will be ok and air traffic resumes to normal conditions very soon.

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