‘State of calamity’
More than 34,000 villagers have been forced to flee after Philippines’ most active volcano began spewing red lava yesterday. Mount Mayon, which draws thousands of tourists, rises 8,070 feet above Legazpi.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the lava flowed as much as two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the often cloud-shrouded crater of Mount Mayon, while ash fell on several villages in northeastern Albay province. At least nine volcanic earthquakes and 75 lava collapses were recorded yesterday, resulting in rockfall.
The provincial board has declared Albay under a state of calamity, while police has also set up checkpoints to stop tourists from getting too close.
Officials have now strongly advised people not to venture into a danger zone — about 3.7 to 4.3 miles around Mayon. Local governments are tapping emergency funds and working to ensure clean water supply.