Manila - A volcano near the Philippine capital started spewing lava fountains on Monday, as the country's specialist institute warned of "further eruptive activity" that could affect hundreds of thousands of people.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded at least 75 volcanic earthquakes overnight from Taal Volcano in Batangas province, 66 kilometres south of Manila.
Some 45 000 residents had already evacuated at-risk areas the day before due to thick ash fall and showers of small stones raining on nearby towns.
Officials estimated that at least 200 000 residents could be forced to flee if the eruption worsens, and said it was possible there could still be a "hazardous explosive eruption" within hours or days.
The "magmatic eruption [of Taal Volcano] is characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning," the institute said.