Lava Bursts From Philippines Volcano Sends 34,000 Villagers Scrambling for Safety

A bright red burst of lava that spurted like a fountain and flowed down the side of the Philippines’ most active volcano sent more villagers scrambling for safety Tuesday, as officials warned tourists from entering the danger zone.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the lava flowed as much as 1.2 miles from the cloud-shrouded crater of Mount Mayon, while ash fell on several villages in northeastern Albay province.

“This kind of eruption, it will take about weeks, so we have to sustain the operations in the evacuation centers,” Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara told the ANC news channel, according to Reuters. “We need to use the calamity funds.”

At least 34,000 people have been displaced by Mayon’s eruption since the weekend from two cities and six towns. Many of the people took shelter in schools turned into evacuation centers, Jukes Nunez, an Albay provincial disaster response officer, told the Associated Press by telephone. Others took refuge in the homes of relatives.

The institute has recorded at least nine tremors in the area, four of which accompanied lava fountains from the volcano, according to Reuters. The activity could mean a possible hazardous eruption is coming within a few days.

Officials strongly advised people not to venture into a danger zone about 3.7 to 4.3 miles around Mayon. Those being cautioned included residents who want to check their homes, farms and animals, and tourists seeking a closer view, the Associated Press reported.

“They say it’s beauty juxtaposed with danger,” Office of Civil Defense regional director Claudio Yucot said.

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SOURCE: Fox News