In the central Philippines, some twenty-five thousand villagers have been evacuated from homes in the path of lava from the erupting Mayon volcano.
In the central Philippines, some twenty-five thousand villagers have been evacuated from homes in the path of lava from the erupting Mayon volcano. A number of evacuation centres have been set up. The Mayon volcano burst into renewed fury on Thursday (18 May), having calmed down somewhat the day before.
SYNOPSIS: Mayon, the most active of twelve live volcanoes in the Philippines, has been erupting for more than three weeks. It has reached a new level of activity, blowing huge columns of steam and smoke high above its carter and showering ash on nearby towns. The intensity of the eruptions has increased significantly over the past few days, and rumblings could be heard nine miles (14 kilometres) away in Legaspi, the provincial capital, which is two-hundred miles (320 kilometres) south of Manila. Scientists have been keeping a careful watch on seismographic readings, for any clues foreshadowing a major explosion.
About twenty-five thousand people have now been evacuated from the path of the potential lava flow. Most of them are being cared for in special evacuation centres set up in nearby schools. Authorities, worried about overcrowding, are trying to persuade newcomers to return home if they come from places considered out of immediate danger. Two refugees have already died in evacuation centres, but officials said they were ill before being evacuated. The Volcanology Commission is hoping that the steady ejection of lava and steam over a long period may release underground tensions and reduce the chances of the one big explosion which everyone dreads.