Philippines authorities have urged some 450,000 people to flee a potential “hazardous explosive eruption” of the Taal volcano, which has been spewing ash and lava since Sunday.

Lava was sent half a mile into the sky overnight on Tuesday as Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it supported a “total evacuation” of people within a 14km radius of the volcano.

Some 50 volcanic earthquakes have been detected in just hours, it added, and warned aircraft “to avoid the airspace around Taal volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards”.

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Volcanic ash is being repurposed as bricks, Philippines media reports.

 

Two volcanic earthquakes have been detected in just the last few minutes, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s Facebook page.

 

They measured in at magnitude 2 and 1.6, the body said.

These are really striking images from the Philippine Star – people who live near the volcano have returned to rescue their animals.

 

The pictures demonstrate that even though a devastating explosive eruption has not yet occurred, the impact from what’s happened so far is still serious.

 

So far, the Philippine government’s disaster-response agency has counted more than 30,400 evacuees in Batangas and nearby Cavite provinces. It expects the number to grow.
 

Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, has spoken about the rising magma.

 

“The speed in the rise of magma is important [in determining] when the volcano will have a strong eruption and if it will slow down and freeze.

 

“As of now, we don’t see activities slowing down and the earthquakes still continue.”

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has issued a fresh warning.

 

It wants some 450,000 people (according to the UN) to leave a zone some 28km in diameter. Some 50 volcanic earthquakes have been detected on Tuesday, it said on Facebook.

 

It said: “The intense seismic activity coupled with fissuring on the caldera region likely signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.”

 

A “hazardous explosive eruption” remains possible within hours, or days, it added.

 

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage of the Taal volcano.