How the Taal Volcano is impacting the citizens of the Philippines

On Jan. 12, a volcano began spewing ash in Tallsay, Philippines, raising concerns for the surrounding cities. The Taal Volcano has been reported level 4 on the earthquake intensity scale according to The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, meaning that an explosive eruption could happen. The impact of the volcano is already having citizens travel to camps nearby, leaving them with unhealthy air. 

The Taal volcano is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes due to the large number of people in proximity to it. With the eruption nearing, there has been a call for “total evacuation” urging anyone within 17 km of the volcano to leave immediately. According to CNN, more than 16,400 people have sought refuge in evacuation centers.

While the eruption itself is a problem for the surrounding cities, the debris from the volcano, the ash and the possibility of a volcanic tsunami is also a threat. Joseph Michalski, director of the Earth and Planetary Science division at the University of Hong Kong, told CNN, “the ash is what will kill you, not the lava.” The ash itself contains small pieces of glass, which, when inhaled, can create health issues. The ash can also get quite heavy and cause roofs to collapse.

The lasting impacts of the Taal volcano are hard to tell at the moment, but there is a worry that tourism, farming and other local sales may be halted. The Washington Post claims that, “the eruption and its aftermath — from ashfall to dozens of earthquakes — have affected about 200 restaurants, 170 hotels and at least six major event facilities.” Farm land has been ruined from the ash falling, and it is said that a large crop of pineapples were ruined. 

As of right now there is still no telling when this volcano will be at rest. CNN still reports that the volcano can possibly erupt again and ash is still harming surrounding areas.