Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

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

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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