The volcanic eruption in the Philippines has led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the area – but the more astonishing thing was that the site of eruption formed some spectacular displays in the sky.
Just 37 miles out of the city of Manila, the Taal Volcano started erupting.
The intense ash falling from the sky caused the country’s main international airport to be shut down.
Watch the lightning generated by the volcano below!
[rumble video_id=v62fmx domain_id=u7nb2]
Video credit: Rumble
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, there have been 144 earthquakes in the region following the eruption, with 44 of them so strong as to be felt by the nearby dwellings.
The advisory from the institute said: “Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.”
According to the volcanology institute, plumes of steam-powered ash produced by the volcano were as much as a mile in height and caused a shower of ash on the ground.
Around 6 pm on Sunday night, there was a spectacular show of volcanic lightning witnessed by people at the site of the eruption.
Normally, lightning is caused by oppositely charged clouds colliding in the air. In the case of volcanic eruption, it is the ash that gets charged as it leaves the crater and causes sparks of lightning in the sky.
Oregon State University geologists say: “If the charge separation becomes big enough it is then able to overpower the air resistance, create a path of ionized air, and conduct electricity in the form of lightning.
“The ash that is to be erupted begins as electrostatically neutral rock or rock fragments.”
Heat and movement in the volcano are the primary sources of charging the ash but the major charge it gets is from the friction when it leaves the crater at high speed.
“Think of skidding your socked feet rapidly across the carpet or rubbing a balloon quickly against your head. The same type of charge is accumulating within the ash cloud, only on a much larger scale,” Oregon State University researchers say.
“Lightning is the primary cause of unscheduled interruptions for most overhead power transmission lines and is a major cause of faults on typical overhead distribution lines,” according to the United States Geological Survey.
“Increased lightning discharge activity during volcanic eruptions, therefore, poses a heightened lightning hazard to power generation sites, substations, and transmission and distribution lines.”