Philippines orders evacuation as Mayon volcano threatens to erupt

Mayon volcano

The Mayon volcano in the Phiilippines. The local tourist industry was expecting its latest stirrings to promote a mini-boom. Photograph: Charism Sayat/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities warn of possible eruption within weeks and prepares to evacuate 50,000 people in danger zone

(SOURCE)  Thousands of people living near the Philippines‘s most active volcano have begun leaving their homes as lava trickled down its slopes and authorities warned of a dangerous eruption.

Mayon, a volcano famed in equal parts for its near-perfect cone and brutal volatility, had begun to stir again with magma rising to the top and small earthquakes rattling deep inside, authorities said.

“A hazardous eruption is possible within weeks,” the director of the state volcanology agency, Renato Solidum, told AFP.

Residents within an five-mile (8km) radius will be forcibly evacuated, said the regional civil defence director, Bernardo Alejandro.

He said authorities expect to evacuate almost all of the 50,000 people in the danger zone – a coconut farming area near the Pacific coast – within three days.

“We’ll have no problems with the 99% who will evacuate but there are some who will be hard-headed,” Alejandro said, citing the response to a similar evacuation call in 2009 when some farmers refused to move out.

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