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60,000 evacuated in Philippines amid volcanic eruptions

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Jan 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Manila, Jan 24: Volcano Mayon located in eastern Philippines and active over the last 10 days has spewed fresh lava and ash in two new eruptions, forcing more than 60,000 people to leave their homes fearing even more potent explosions. Mayon, located in Albay 325 km southeast of Manila, erupted first at 6 a.m. expelling rivers of lava along with a column of gas and ash three kilometers high, Efe news reported. The eruption, four hours later, was followed by a second one of similar magnitude accompanied by strong thunder, said Winchelle Sevilla of Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Sevilla warned of the risk of more powerful eruptions. Following the frequency of eruptions increasing since Monday, authorities raised the alert level from three to four and extended the exclusion zone to a radius of eight kilometers from the crater. A total of 60,821 people who resided in the danger zone were evacuated and relocated to 30 shelters in the region, according to data provided by Albay’s Office of Civil Defence. “We have asked the evacuees not to return to the danger zone under any circumstances,” said Sevilla. He added that the rivers of lava emating from the crater were more than three kilometers long and pyroclastic flows — currents of hot gas and volcanic rocks — swept as far as 5 kilometers from the crater. Mayon, which has erupted five times in the last three decades, has stoked fears of a repeat of the tragic explosion of Mount Pitubo — northwest of Manila — in 1991, the world’s second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century that left about 850 dead and displaced more than 1.3 million. (IANS)

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