Taal Volcano
This aerial photograph taken on June 24, 2021 shows the Taal volcano crater just days before the new eruption.
Ted Aljibe/Getty Images
  • The Taal volcano is threatening to engulf a region in The Philippines in smoke and ash.
  • Authorities have evacuated more than 14,000 people from nearby townships.
  • A deadly eruption last year left 39 people dead and hundreds of thousands of locals displaced.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Fresh activity from the Taal Volcano in the Philippines has prompted the evacuation of thousands of people as authorities fear a repeat of the eruption last January that ravaged the region.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) issued a level 3 alert on Thursday afternoon when the Taal Volcano belched a giant plume of ash and smoke half a mile into the sky.

Four smaller bursts followed later in the evening, said PHIVOLCS.

Taal Volcano 2020
The 2020 Taal volcanic eruption released plumes that reached up to 7 miles in the sky.
Mariano Sayno/Getty Images

More than 14,000 people from 3,500 families have been evacuated so far from the tourist province of Batangas, according to local authorities.

A PHIVOLCS video filmed on Thursday shows the crater bubbling before flaring up in thick smoke.

Bursts like these can launch ash and volcanic blocks high into the air, which subsequently rain down on the communities below - one of the primary hazards that hit Batangas in the 2020 eruption.

Earlier this week, volcanic smog from Taal drifted as far as 40 miles north to the Filipino capital of Manila, as PHIVOLCS raised the alert to level 2 and advised residents to stay home.

Authorities said the current eruption has the potential to become more dangerous than last year's, per Reuters.

Last January's eruption involved a level 4 alert when massive plumes of ash and debris from the volcano soared up to seven miles into the sky accompanied by volcanic lightning. By the time the disaster was over, 39 people had died and hundreds of thousands of locals had been displaced.

Taal aftermath
Damaged houses lie near Taal volcano in Batangas province, Philippines, on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, almost a year after an eruption.
Aaron Favila/Associated Press

The Taal Volcano has been even deadlier before. An eruption in 1911 took a death toll of 1,300 people.

PHIVOLCS did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

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