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Residents clean the roof of their home covered in mud and ash from the nearby Taal volcano. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images

The Taal volcano eruption has turned parts of the Philippines gray with ash, as ensuing earthquakes continue and the threat of a bigger explosion remains.

What's happening: The threat level of an imminent hazardous eruption remained at 4 out of 5 Thursday, per the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which urged people to "guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall." The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded over 500 quakes since the first eruption Sunday.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
Satellite imagery of the erupting volcano, which shot gray ash plumes almost a half mile into the air on Thursday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology. Photo: Planet Labs Inc
Locals wait to be rescued from on Luzon Island, where the Taal volcano is located, in Batangas province, south of Manila. Photo: George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
White steam from the Taal volcano is seen as wind blows with the mountain covered in mud and ash from the eruption, in Laurel, Batangas province. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
About 53,000 people have found shelter in public evacuation centers after four days of volcano activity, but some people refuse to leave. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Motorists cross a bridge partially blocked by trees fallen by volcanic ash from the volcano's eruption in Laurel, Batangas province. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Residents evacuate from their home at the foot of the Taal volcano, as seen from Tanauan town in Batangas province, south of Manila. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
Residents who fled the volcano's eruption arrive at an evacuation center in Santo Tomas, Batangas province. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
The scene in Talisay town, Batangas province. The eruption has caused over $11 million in damage to crops, Reuters reports. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
A resident cleans mud and ash from his outrigger canoe near the volcano. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
Cows covered in volcanic ash are brought to safer ground in Balete, Batangas province. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
A fisherman wades with his nets in the waters of Taal Lake. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
A resident uses a shovel to clear mud and ash in Tanauan town, Batangas province. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
People who returned to their houses on the volcanic island to rescue their livestock and recover treasured possessions before fleeing. Photo: Joel Mataro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
A youth living at the foot of the Taal volcano rides an outrigger canoe. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images
Evacuees from who live near the volcano after being transferred to Tanauan City's Gym 2. Photo: Joel Mataro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: Taal volcano in Philippines erupting and triggering earthquakes

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

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Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.