TAGAYTAY, Philippines (AP) — Clouds of ash blew far north of the Philippines' Taal volcano, reaching Manila, the country's bustling capital, and forcing the shutdown of its main airport after lava gushed out of the mountain on Monday. Thousands of villagers were fleeing to safety, but officials say the number could swell to hundreds of thousands. Poor visibility and a lack of transportation were hampering people's efforts to leave. There have been no reports of casualties or major damage from the eruption, but experts warned that it could worsen. Taal, one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, is among two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a seismically active region that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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