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Philippine volcano explodes, authorities raise alert level

Philippine volcano explodes, authorities raise alert level
From CBC - January 21, 2018

The Philippines' most active volcano exploded thunderously Monday, sending a huge grey column of lava fragments, ash and steam into the sky and prompting authorities to warn that a violent eruption may be imminent.

The noontime explosion sent superheated lava, molten rocks and steam cascading down Mount Mayon's slopes and shrouded nearby villages in darkness, said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology and other officials.

Authorities raised the alert level to four on a scale of five, which means an explosive eruption is possible within hours or days. A danger zone around Mayon was expanded to eightkilometres from the crater.

"If the eruption is vertical, it's possible pyroclastic flows or pyroclastic density currents may cascade down in all directions," Solidum told a news conference, warning villagers and tourists not to venture into the no-go zones and airplanes to stay safely away from the crater and ash-laden winds.

27,000 have fled

More than 27,000 villagers have fled since Mayon started acting up more than a week ago.

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