Terrifying moment lightning shoots from the ground upwards during Philippines volcano eruption

14 January 2020, 19:17

By Kate Buck

This is the terrifying moment a lightning bolt shoots from the ground as a volcano erupts in the Philippines.

The Taal Volcano began erupting on Sunday, sending thousands of tons of smoke and ash into the sky.

Tens of thousands of people have fled villages surrounding the area, and schools have been closed due to the health risks of the smoke.

In the aftermath of the eruption, lightning has been seen blistering across much of the landscape.

This is due to the volcanic ash which allows a charge separation between the ground and the cloud of material being churned out of the volcano.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the eruption, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

Rescuers search for surviving animals left behind by residents of the Taal Volcano Island
Rescuers search for surviving animals left behind by residents of the Taal Volcano Island. Picture: PA
It began to erupt on Sunday
It began to erupt on Sunday. Picture: PA

The continuous activity at Taal and several new fissures cracking the ground nearby likely means magma is rising and may lead to further eruptive activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

The volcano was spurting fountains of red-hot lava half a mile into the sky, with the massive column of ash and volcanic debris occasionally lighting up with streaks of lightning.

The alert level since the eruption began Sunday has been 4, indicating a hazardous eruption is possible in hours to days.

Level 5, the highest, means such an eruption is under way.

About 50 volcanic earthquakes were detected over eight hours on Tuesday, indicating rising magma, the institute said. It also warned heavy and prolonged ash fall was possible in nearby villages.

Much of the surrounding area has been evacuated
Much of the surrounding area has been evacuated. Picture: PA

The picturesque volcano in the middle of a lake rumbled to life on Sunday in a powerful explosion that blasted a nine-mile column of ash, steam and rock into the sky.

Clouds of volcanic ash blowing over Manila, 40 miles to the north, closed the country's main airport on Sunday and part of Monday until the ash fall eased.

More than 500 international and domestic flights were cancelled or delayed due to the overnight airport closure, affecting about 80,000 passengers.

The disaster response agency counted more than 40,000 evacuees in Batangas and nearby Cavite provinces who took shelter in nearly 200 evacuation centers. Officials expect that number to swell.

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to visit volcano-devastated areas in Batangas, which has been declared a calamity zone for faster disbursement of emergency funds.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

George Floyd case

Jury selected in US federal trial over killing of George Floyd

Joe Biden

Biden issues new warning to Russia over invading Ukraine

Covid Austria

Austrian parliament approves universal vaccine mandate

Capitol riot investigation

Capitol investigation committee requests interview with Ivanka Trump

Entrance to Auschwitz

UN approves resolution to condemn denial of the Holocaust

Afghanistan women's protest

Woman activist arrested by Taliban in raid on her home in Kabul

Antony Blinken

US warns of ‘swift, severe’ response if Russia invades Ukraine

Scene of Liberia stampede

At least 29 people die in stampede at religious festival in Liberia

Novak Djokovic is reportedly preparing to sue the Australian government.

Novak Djokovic 'to sue Australian government for £3m' over deportation

Liz Truss will urge Mr Putin to engage in "meaningful discussions" about the situation in Ukraine

Putin must 'step back' from war and free world will 'stand its ground', says Foreign Sec

Antony Blinken and Annalena Baerbock

US and European diplomats meet in Berlin to discuss Ukraine situation

Former Pope Benedict failed to act on child sexual abuse

Pope Benedict 'failed to act' in four child sexual abuse cases, report finds

Audio footage has been obtained from the final conversation between the Texas synagogue attacker Malik Akram and his younger brother Gulbar, who urged his sibling to surrender.

'Think about your kids': Brother's desperate phone call with Texas synagogue attacker

Russian Sukhoi 30 jet

Russia accuses the West of ‘plotting provocations’ over Ukraine

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Former Pope Benedict criticised over handling of sexual abuse claims

Tina Turner at Wembley

Tina Turner and husband buy £56m estate on shore of Lake Zurich