Astonishing video shows lightning storm inside Taal volcano as it spews ash in Philippines

Ross McGuinness

This is the incredible moment a lightning storm raged inside an erupting volcano.

Lava and ash have spewed from the Taal volcano in the Philippines, causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

The rare phenomenon of volcanic lightning was captured on camera as the smoke billowed into the sky.

It was recorded by a 17-year-old student whose family decided to stay in their home in Tagaytay city on Sunday.

He said: "It was around 6pm and me and my family just arrived home. We had a plan to leave but we decided to just return home.

The Taal volcano in the Philippines caused lightning to flash across the sky as it spewed ash (Pictures: SWNS)
The Taal volcano in the Philippines caused lightning to flash across the sky as it spewed ash. (SWNS)

"When we arrived I went to balcony to get a better view. I wanted to take a photo but instead took a video and that’s when the thunder struck."

Clouds of ash blew more than 100km (62 miles) north of the Taal volcano on Sunday, reaching the capital Manila and forcing the closure of the country's main airport, with more than 500 flights cancelled.

There have been no reports of casualties or major damage so far.

The government's disaster response agency and other officials reported that more than 30,000 villagers have fled their homes in the hard-hit province of Batangas and nearby Cavite province, but officials expect the number to swell with hundreds of thousands more moving out of harm's way.

Forks of lighting were seen alongside the spewing ash of the Taal volcano in the Philippines (Picture: SWNS)
Forks of lighting were seen alongside the spewing ash of the Taal volcano. (SWNS)

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Some residents could not move out of ash-blanketed villages immediately due to a lack of transport and poor visibility. Others refused to leave their homes and farms.

Taal had been restive for months until it suddenly rumbled back to life on Sunday, blasting steam, ash and pebbles up to 10km to 15km into the sky, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

TOPSHOT - A youth living at the foot of Taal volcano rides an outrigger canoe while the volcano spews ash as seen from Tanauan town in Batangas province, south of Manila, on January 13, 2020. - The Philippines was on alert January 13 for the "explosive eruption" of a volcano south of Manila, which officials said could be imminent after a massive column of ash forced a halt to flights at the capital's main airport. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo by TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)
The Taal volcano spews ash as a boy rides a canoe in Tanauan town in Batangas province, south of Manila. (AFP/Getty)
BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 13: Villagers are seen outside their houses at the town of Agoncillo in Batangas wherein covered in thick blankets of ash due to Taal volcano eruption in Batangas on January 13, 2020. (Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Locals survey the damage caused by the Taal volcano in the town of Agoncillo in Batangas. (Getty)
A worker walks past plants covered with mud and ash after Taal volcano erupted, in Talisay town, Batangas province south of Manila on January 13, 2020. - Lava and broad columns of ash illuminated by lightning spewed from a volcano south of the Philippine capital on January 13, grounding hundreds of flights as authorities warned of a possible "explosive eruption". (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo by TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)
A worker in the town of Talisay walks past plants covered with mud and ash after the Taal volcano erupted. (AFP/Getty)

The ash and steam column reached a height of only 2km on Monday, with lava fountains spurting less than half of that height before falling into lake waters surrounding the main crater.

Lava also spurted from another vent north of the main crater.

British holidaymaker Ewan Carroll, from Dunblane, Scotland, was awoken by tremors on Sunday morning while on an anniversary weekend away in Tanauan, Batangas.

"I was lying in bed upstairs in a beautiful lakeside villa when I felt the house shake," the 44-year-old said.

"After a few tremors, I went downstairs and saw the enormous column of smoke. It was humbling, amazing and worrying all at once."

Mr Carroll, who has worked in Brisbane, Australia, as a primary school teacher for the past 15 years, says they quickly left the villa and are now at a hotel in Manila 37 miles away.