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Philippines prepares for another volcano eruption

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 1/15/20, 12:03 pm

Authorities in the Philippines are debating whether to allow residents of a volcanic island to return after a devastating eruption. The Taal volcano poses a near-constant threat to the 5,000 villagers who live on the island, but many of them live off the land and have nowhere else to go. Taal erupted Sunday for the first time in 43 years and has continued to spew red hot lava into the sky since then. For now, the government has closed the island because scientists say the volcano could blow again at any moment.

Was anyone hurt? Inhabitants fled on boats just before the eruption, and officials have reported no deaths. Police are trying to stop people from going to the island—it is even illegal to live on it, though no one enforces that law—but villagers have snuck back to assess the damage. “Almost everything was destroyed,” said Christian Morales, a pig farmer on the island. “If anybody defied orders and stayed behind, he would have been killed without a doubt.”

Dig deeper: Watch video from Agence France-Presse of the effects of the disaster in Batangas province.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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