FALSE: ‘Photo’ of Taal Volcano eruption


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FALSE: ‘Photo’ of Taal Volcano eruption
The photo is of the Santiaguito lava dome in Guatemala and not Taal Volcano

Claim: An image of a volcano erupting on Sunday, January 12, is supposedly that of Taal Volcano.

The photo was shared on Facebook on January 12 by the page PROUD to be Marinduqueños, which has 19,613 followers. The caption for the photo reads: “Taal Volcano as of now… Kuha sa Tagaytay. Alert level 4 na!” (Taal Volcano as of now… Taken at Tagaytay. We’re now on alert level 4!)

They credited the image to one Ofhie Malvar, a user whose Facebook profile image and banner photo bear the name of the PROUD to be Marinduqueños group. 

PROUD to be Marinduqueños’ photo has accumulated 243 reactions, 32 comments, and 162 shares as of posting. It was emailed to Rappler by readers for fact checking.

Facebook’s monitoring tool Claim Check also flagged posts by various users of the same photo. The image was posted on the users’ own timelines or on groups on January 12. These have collectively accumulated more than 2,000 shares as of posting.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The photo is not Taal Volcano, it is the Santiaguito lava dome of the Santa Maria Volcano in Guatemala.

A reverse image search shows that the photo was taken by photographer Martin Rietze on January 3, 2009. It is available on Getty Images and Stocktrek Images.

According to National Geographic, the Santiaguito lava dome formed on the Santa Maria Volcano after it erupted in 1902. The dome has had almost continuous minor explosions ever since. 

Taal Volcano was put under alert level 4 on Monday morning, January 13, spewing lava amid a threat of an impending eruption. – Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

More fact checks on the January 2020 Taal Volcano eruption:

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