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People ride outrigger canoes to reach their homes near the foot of Taal volcano as it spews ash south of Manila on Monday. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images

The Philippines' Taal volcano has been erupting 40 miles south of the Manila and triggering at least 52 earthquakes and ashfall across the region, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in a statement Monday.

What's happening: Manila's international airport suspended flights and schools canceled classes across the region because of ash from the eruption, as the alert level was raised to 4 out of 5.

  • Towns surrounding the volcano were evacuated on Sunday, according to the UN's Philippines office.
  • Motorists should drive with "extreme caution" because of poor visibility from the ash, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warned.

The big picture: Some 450,000 people live within the nine-mile danger zone of the volcano, per the UN.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
11 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.