Mayon volcano LIVE: Philippine Mount Mayon forces 56,000 to flee | World | News

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As the volcano threw lava 700 meters into the air, officials were forced to evacuate nearby residents on the large island of Luzon.

Authorities believe a potentially deadly eruption could take place in a matter of hours as Mayon spits out a combination of superheated gas and volcanic debris while ominously rumbling.

Cedric Daep, a regional disaster-response official, said: “If pyroclastic flows hit people, there is no chance for life”.

Monday’s explosion led officials to raise the risk level of Mayon to four out of a possible five – expanding the area of risk to 8 kilometers from the crater.

At least 12,000 people had already been returned to their homes after fleeing during smaller, earlier eruptions – but were forced to evacuate yet again.

Official figures claim at least 56,217 people are now housed in 46 evacuation camps as the army move in to help more people escape the wrath of the natural phenomenon.

The Philippine Red Cross tweeted: “Just in. Another explosion of Mayon Volcano taken at 5:50pm today.

“Our team was at Barangay Kimantong, Darage, Albay when this video was taken. Let us continue to be alert and safe!”

On Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised its alert on Mayon to level 4, signifying an eruption is due within days or hours. 

A level 4 alert means Mt Mayon is active, with persistent tremors, low-frequency type earthquake. But a level 5 alert signifies a hazardous eruption is underway.

Director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Renato Solidum warned during a media briefing Monday that the explosion could be similar to that of 2001.

Mr Solidum said the movement of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and gas along the slopes of Mt Mayon could reach up to three kilometres. 

Mount Mayon’s last eruption took place in 2013 when four climbers and their guide died after trekking near the summit.

The Philippines are located on the so-called “ring of fire” – a line of seismic faults where volcanic activity is more likely than elsewhere in the world.

In 1991 Mount Pintabu, in the north of the country, exploded in one of the largest eruptions of the 20th century. Roughly 800 people died in the incident.



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