Thousands of people have fled from their homes in Philippines, after vulcanologists warned that the crater of the rumbling Mayon volcano on Luzon island could erupt within days, AFP reported on Sunday.
Authorities have asked more than 12,000 people to leave a seven-kilometre evacuation zone around the volcano, and there are warnings of destructive mudflows and toxic clouds. “It is dangerous for families to stay in that radius and inhale ash,” Claudio Yucot, the head of the Bicol regions office of civil defence.
“Because of continuous rains in past weeks, debris deposited in the slopes of Mayon could lead to lahar flows [mudflows],” he added. “If rain does not stop it could be hazardous.”
Authorities raised the volcano alert level to three on Sunday, Reuters reported. Manila’s airport authorities said airline Cebu Pacific had canceled flights to nearby Legazpi City for the second consecutive day on Monday.
Lava last flowed out of the Mayon volcano in 2014, leading to the evacuation of 63,000 people. “We think the lava now is more fluid than in 2014,” Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology head Renato Solidum told AFP. “This means the flow can reach further down the slopes at a faster rate.”
In 1841, lava flows from Mayon buried a town and killed 1,200 people.