NAIA partially re-opens after Taal ashfall cleanup

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2020 12:04 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2020 12:58 PM

MANILA -- (UPDATE) The Philippine capital's main airport reopened for "partial operations" on Monday after being shut overnight due to ashfall from Taal Volcano, authorities said.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport reopened for departures from 10 a.m. and for arrivals by 12 p.m., the Manila International Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said.

The MIAA General Manager, Ed Monreal, said earlier Monday that the area was expected to be cleared of ash within the day. The opening times will be subject to airline consent and terminal capacity.

"Ginagawa naman ho natin lahat ng magagawa na magkaroon po tayo ng partial operability, pero unang-una po, kailangan sigurado tayo sa pagbibigay ng clearance," Monreal told DZMM.

(We are doing everything so we can have partial operability, but we need to be sure first of giving clearance.)

Volcanic ash risks stalling jet engines, prompting authorities to cancel hundreds of flights at NAIA.

If partial operability is restored, travelers should confirm their flights with airlines first before going to the airport, Monreal said. 

Located in the middle of a picturesque lake south of the capital, the Taal Volcano on Sunday belched a massive ash cloud that drifted across parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila. 

Seismology institute Phivolcs earlier raised the danger level posed by Taal Volcano to 4 out of a possible 5, meaning "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days."

The Philippines lies on the "Ring of Fire," a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is also prone to earthquakes.

One of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, Taal has erupted more than 30 times in the past 5 centuries, most recently in 1977. An eruption in 1911 killed 1,500 people and one in 1754 lasted for a few months. With a report from Reuters