Thousands evacuated in Philippines as volcano threatens eruption

A view of the Mayon Volcano from Daraga town, Albay province, Philippines, on Sunday. More than 5,000 evacuated the area on Saturday and Sunday as officials raised the alert level due to the possibility of a hazardous eruption. Photo by Zalrian Sayat/EPA_EFE

Jan. 15 (UPI) — More than 5,000 people in the Philippines province of Albay fled their homes over the weekend due to the restless Mayon Volcano.

Evacuations began Saturday after an ash eruption in the late afternoon. On Sunday, two steam-driven eruptions occurred, prompting more than 1,500 families to leave the cities of Camalig, Guinobatan and Malilipot, according to public safety officials.

All public and private schools in the evacuation area were canceled for Monday and aviation authorities told pilots to avoid flying close the the volcano’s summit.

Authorities asked people in nearby areas to protect their faces with a dust mask or a wet, damp cloth that can cover the nose and mouth. Hospital officials were on alert for cases related to the ash eruptions.

State volcanologists recorded three lava collapses at the Mayon on Monday; they resulted in rockfall and three small-volume pyroclastic density currents, a fast-moving flow of hot gas and volcanic matter.


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