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AKIPRESS.COM - The Philippines’ most active volcano continued to spew fountains of red-hot lava and massive ash plumes Tuesday in a dazzling but increasingly dangerous eruption that has sent 40,000 villagers to shelter in evacuation centers, Washington Post reported.
Lava fountains gushed up 700 meters (2,300 feet) above Mount Mayon’s crater and ash plumes rose up to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) at night and before daybreak, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. An explosive eruption at noon Monday was the most powerful since the volcano started acting up more than a week ago.
Authorities warned a violent eruption may occur in hours or days, characterized by more rumblings and pyroclastic flows — superheated gas and volcanic debris that race down the slopes at high speeds, vaporizing everything in their path.
After Monday’s huge explosion, officials raised Mayon’s alert level to four on a scale of five, and the danger zone was expanded to 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the crater, requiring thousands more residents to be evacuated, including at least 12,000 who left their homes and then returned during gentler eruptions.