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Philippines lowers volcano danger level

A man catches fish as Taal Volcano spews ash in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine volcanologists on Sunday lowered the alert status of a volcano near the Philippine capital to 3 from 4 to indicate a “decreased tendency towards hazardous explosive eruption”.

Authorities also narrowed the exclusion zone around the Taal volcano, which sits in the middle of a lake about 70 km (45 miles) from Manila, to seven kms from 14 kms (4-8 miles).

However, authorities said the lowering of the danger level “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased”.

Taal began spewing clouds of ash on Jan. 12. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated after their homes, schools and farms were covered with ash.

Just 311 meters (1,020 feet) high, Taal is one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes. It killed more than 1,300 people in an eruption in 1911.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Michael Perry)

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