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Philippines volcano could have ‘huge eruption’ in next few days

Published 21/12/2009

Residents living around the slopes of Mayon volcano are evacuated (AP)
Residents living around the slopes of Mayon volcano are evacuated (AP)

The Philippines' most active volcano could have a huge eruption within days, officials have warned after detecting a drastic surge in earthquakes in surrounding foothills.

Tens of thousands of villagers have been evacuated as a precaution after scientists raised the alert level for the Mayon volcano (right) after 453 volcanic earthquakes were detected in a five-hour span yesterday. This compares to just over 200 on Saturday, said Renato Solidum, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The five-step warning system was raised to level four, meaning a hazardous eruption “is possible within days”. Army troops and police will intensify patrols to enforce a round-the-clock ban on villagers moving within a five-mile danger zone around the 8,070-foot mountain, said Governor Joey Salceda of Albay province.

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