01/16/2018, 09.41
PHILIPPINES
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Mount Mayon eruption: Alert level 3 and 15 thousand displaced

There are five alert levels. In the event of an alert four, forced evacuations planned in view of a "possible dangerous eruption". The red zone extended to seven kilometers radius from the crater. 2,462 meters high, Mount Mayon is popular with climbers and tourists. Over the past 500 years, the volcano has erupted 50 times. In 1814, it killed 1,200 people and buried the city of Cagsawa.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A bright red lava front is spilling down the slopes of Mount Mayon (Bicol region), the most active volcano in the Philippines, while authorities warn of a possible dangerous eruption. A

About 15 thousand people have been evacuated from the danger zone within a radius of seven kilometers and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) strongly advises residents of the area not to return. Lava and ash are advancing up to two kilometers from the crater, falling on nearby communities.

The Phivolcs recorded nine episodes of tremors, four of which accompanied by several small pyroclastic flows.  These were generated by fragments in the lava streams and not by an explosion from the crater vent. Renato Solidum, who heads the volcano institute, said he has not seen enough volcanic earthquakes of the type that would prompt scientists to raise the alert level to four, which would indicate an explosive eruption may be imminent. Emergency response officials previously said they may have to undertake forced evacuations if the alert is raised to four.

After steam explosions on Saturday and lava rising in the crater on Sunday, the alert was raised to three on a scale of five, indicating a hazardous eruption is possible “within weeks or even days”.

2,462 meters high, Mount Mayon is located in the province of Albay, an area 340 kilometers southeast of Manila and known for growing its coconut cultivation. The volcano is popular with climbers and tourists and has erupted about 50 times over the past 500 years, sometimes violently. In 2013, an ash eruption killed five climbers who had ventured near the summit despite warnings. The first recorded Mayon eruption is that of 1616; the most destructive one is that of 1814, which killed 1,200 people and buried the city of Cagsawa in the volcanic mud.

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