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What is a volcanic lightning?

VOLCANIC LIGHTNING – What is volcanic lightning? – A phenomena that recently happened in Taal Volcano causing fear to many people.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the Taal Volcano erupts belching steam, ash, and small rocks and accordingly, an explosive eruption is expected to happen in a few days. With this, the local government has ordered the residents and tourists in Tagaytay, Batangas, and Cavite to leave.

Volcanic Lightning
Photo lifted from Philippine Star

Aside from continuous earthquakes at roughly 5-10 minute intervals, people have also noticed volcanic lightning which caused more fear. What is a volcanic lightning?

This rare phenomena according to Forbes “appears to occur most frequently around volcanoes with large ash plumes, particularly during active stages of the eruption, where flowing, molten lava creates the largest temperature gradients”.

Volcanic Lightning
Photo lifted from NBC News

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull, Japan’s Sakurajima, Italy’s Mt. Etna, and Chile’s Puyehue, Calbuco and Chaiten volcanoes have also recorded the same happening. Lightning happens when colliding particles create electrical charge and this can help warn of dangerous eruptions.

Meanwhile, Taal Volcano’s eruption affects the following the areas:

  • Tanauan, Batangas
  • Escala, Tagaytay
  • Sta. Rosa, Laguna
  • Dasmariñas, Bacoor, Silang, Cavite
  • Malolos, San Jose Del Monte, Meycauayan, Bulacan
  • Antipolo, Rizal
  • Muntinlupa
  • Las Piñas
  • Marikina
  • Parañaque
  • Pasig
  • Quezon City
  • Mandaluyong
  • San Juan, Manila
  • Makati City
  • Taguig City

And in times of a volcanic ashfall, here’s what to do to stay safe as it can cause throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, discomfort while breathing, eye irritation, and minor skin problems:

  • Keeps the doors and windows closed.
  • Keep home infiltrated by using damp curtains, blankets, or clothing.
  • Keep your pets in closed area.
  • Wear mask and gear for your eyes as well.


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