Manila airport suspends flights as volcano erupts in Philippines

Jan 12, 2020

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Dozens of flights have been canceled or diverted at Manila airport after the eruption of Taal volcano, located 40 miles south of the city.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines suspended flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) on Sunday, Jan. 12 after the volcano spewed a plume of ash over half a mile high. Volcanic tremors were also felt in the area and thousands of nearby residents have been evacuated. The volcano’s last eruption was in 1977.

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Flight-tracking site FlightRadar 24 shows the impact of the airport closure. Some overseas arrivals have diverted to Clark (CRK), Hong Kong (HKG) and Bangkok (BKK); others have been canceled outright or returned to their origin:

As reported by the Philippine Daily Enquirer, seismologists raised the Taal volcano alert level to 4 just hours after the eruption. Alert level 4 indicates “a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.” Manila residents have been advised to stay indoors to avoid ashfall and schools are closed for Monday, Jan. 13.

Related: What you should know about the trip cancellation and interruption protection offered by select credit cards

Philippine Airlines, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific have issued travel advisories and waivers. If you have immediate plans to travel to the area, check with your airline for the latest updates. For more travel tips, check out our post on what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed.

We will continue to monitor the situation, and update this post with any additional information. 

Featured photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images.

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