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Monday, 29 January 2018 01:00

75,000 people evacuated as Mount Mayon volcano erupts in Philippines (video)

75,000 people evacuated as Mount Mayon volcano erupts in Philippines (video) Credits: AP

Lava is spilling from Mount Mayon volcano in Philippines, covering nearby towns with ash, during a nearly two-week eruption.

The most active volcano in the South-East Asian country has been spewing lava and ash for the past two weeks and may have a major eruption within days, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

More than 75,000 people are staying in emergency shelters after fleeing the extended 9 km danger zone around Mount Mayon. No injuries have been reported so far. Officials are worried the eruption may last months, disrupting the lives of people in the region. The alert level for Mayon remains at four on a scale of five, indicating a violent eruption may be imminent.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said on Friday, January 26, that lava eruptions had been intense but sporadic over the previous 24 hours. It measured ash plumes rising up to 5km and detected 15 volcanic earthquakes as well as emissions of sulphur dioxide. GPS and other measurements from instruments installed around the volcano also continued to indicate a swelling of the mountain surface, consistent with magma rising and creating pressure.

The state volcanology institute has raised lahar, or mudflow, warnings in towns and villages near Mount Mayon, saying large boulders and mud coming from the summit could bury communities. Mariton Bornas, head of monitoring and eruption prediction at the agency, said boulders as big as houses could roll down Mayon's slopes in minutes.

Mayon, in north-eastern Albay province, has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years. In 2013 an ash eruption killed five climbers who had ventured near the summit despite warnings.

Sources: The Guardian, ABC

Read 183 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 February 2018 08:35

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