Mayon volcano forces thousands to evacuate as it spews lava and gas in the Philippines

Philippines Evacuates Thousands as Mayon Volcano Spews Lava

The Philippines has evacuated thousands of people as Mount Mayon, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, began spewing lava and sulfuric gas. The eruption began on Tuesday evening and intensified on Wednesday morning, prompting authorities to issue an alert level of four out of five, indicating a “hazardous eruption” is imminent.

As of Wednesday, more than 12,000 people had been evacuated from the surrounding area, with local officials warning that the number could rise to 30,000. The military and police have been mobilized to help in the evacuation effort.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned that there is a risk of pyroclastic flows, which are fast-moving currents of hot gas and volcanic matter, reaching up to six kilometers from the volcano’s crater. Residents in nearby towns have reported ashfall, and schools in the region have been closed.

Mount Mayon has erupted more than 50 times since records began in 1616 and has been the site of several deadly eruptions, including one in 1814 that killed more than 1,200 people. The Philippine government has pledged to provide assistance to those affected by the current eruption.