More than 12,000 people have been evacuated from around the foot of one of the Philippines most famous volcanoes, Mount Mayon near Legaspi City.
Yesterday the landmark was glowing red as lava was seen pouring down its slopes. Authorities have raised the warning level to ‘three’ as an eruption looks imminent.
“We are now raising the alert status of Mayon Volcano from alert level two to three,” Renato Solidum, head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) said on Tuesday.
Joey Salceda, governor of the central Albay province, said more than 12,000 people are being forcibly evacuated.
“What the alert level three did was to fast-track the preparation to evacuate 12,000 families in the 6-8 km extended danger zone,” he said.
The evacuees would be housed in temporary shelter for as long as three months, he said. More villagers, facing the southeastern crater rim, would be moved to safer areas if Mayon goes into full stage eruptions.
Philippines Troops were enforcing the no-go zone around the region, preventing people from returning to their homes.
The Mayon and its nearly perfect cone shape, has erupted some 50 times in the last 600 plus years. The most destructive eruption came in February 1841, burying the entire region in hot lava.