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    Taal, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, is threatening a major eruption.


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    Taal, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, is threatening a major eruption.

    SYNOPSIS: Volcano experts said a few days ago that Taal was showing signs of erupting and strongly urged the evacuation of people from its surrounding area. These fishermen, who normally fish the waters of Lake Taal surrounding the volcano, have since been evacuated to safer districts. The lake itself was formed by an eruption from the volcano in 1965, in which 180 people were killed.

    The volcano which last erupted in 1970 causing some damage but no casualties, has been steaming for the past few days, giving rise to fears of a possible major eruption. On Friday it began shooting out ash and lava. Hundreds of people fled in small boats as the volcanic activity continued. Only a handful of men from the island's estimated 1,000 population decided against making the trip to safer ground across the lake. The area is now almost covered by a pall of black smoke and ash.

    The Philippines chief volcano expert, Mr. Gregorio Andal, first gave notice of a possible new eruption in a letter to President Ferdinand Marcos. He said the present activity of the volcano was above normal and was apparently approaching a critical period. Mr. Andal went to Lake Taal to supervise the evacuation of the villagers and check on the latest developments.

    Mr. Andal said the activity was quite different from the eruption of 1965. On that occasion there had been a sudden eruption, while this time there is a steady buildup.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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