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Philippines lowers volcano danger level

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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 toward 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).

A woman walks along a park covered in volcanic-ash at a town near Taal volcano in Tagaytay, Cavite province, south of Manila  on Jan. 19, 2020.  AP

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.

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