Philippine volcano Mount Mayon erupts

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       Philippine volcano spews lava

It also means that the volcano will display persistent tremor, many low frequency-type earthquakes will occur, sulfur dioxide emission level may show sustained increase or abrupt decrease, crater grow will become intense, lava dome will become incandescent, and there will be lava fountain and lava flow in the summit area.

"Hot ash ascends and since the volcano is conical, the pyroclastic flow seems to be the tentacles", he added, referring to a mix of hot lava, ash and volcanic gas flowing down the volcano's flanks.

The alert warning on Mount Mayon was on Monday raised to a level four after a huge eruption took place, prompting the closure of Legazpi City International Airport as well as a string of flight cancellations.

With Mayon under Alert Level 4, Albay officials said they expanded the permanent danger zone from six kilometres to eight kilometre, resulting anew in the voluntary evacuation of13,000 Legaspi City residents allowed to decamp on Sunday.

"We couldn't sleep last night because of the loud rumblings".

By Tuesday, tens of thousands had evacuated, officials said. But Monday's blast sent almost 12,000 fleeing back to evacuation centers, raising the number of people in those shelters to more than 30,000, Office of Civil Defense regional director Claudio Yucot said. "Let us not violate the natural law, avoid the prohibited zone, because if you violate, the punishment is the death penalty".

He added that more than 24,000 people have been displaced to evacuation centers across the province, while another 3,100 have moved to stay with relatives and friends.

"It was like night time at noon, there was zero visibility in some areas because the ash fall was so thick", Nunez said. More than 30,000 ash masks, along with 5,000 sacks of rice, water and medicine are being sent to these shelters, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

Philvocs said in its latest bulletin that Mayon's lava fountains had so far reached 500 meters to 600 meters high and generated ash plumes that reached three to five kilometers above the crater.

Mayon lies about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila.

Residents began evacuating on January 13 after ash eruptions first started, prompting more than 1,500 families to leave the cities of Camalig, Guinobatan and Malilipot. The belfry of Cagsawa's stone church still juts from the ground in an eerie reminder of Mayon's fury. "There it goes again", he said.

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, killing about 800 people, covering entire towns and cities in ash and partly prompting the USA government to abandon its vast air and naval bases on the main northern Luzon island.

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