Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on Monday in what volcanologists described as a “quiet eruption”, warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. Lava was slowly flowing out of the Mayon volcano’s crater along with a spectacular 1,000-metre (3,280-foot) ash plume rising into the sky, the nation’s volcanology institute said. More than 12,000 people have been ordered to leave a seven-kilometer (four-mile) danger zone around the crater, as officials warned them of potentially destructive mudflows and toxic clouds.
“Technically, the volcano is erupting but the eruption is fairly quiet. It may escalate into a hazardous eruption,” Paul Alanis, science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), told AFP. A hazardous or explosive eruption means a lava fountain or a spray of hot rocks and gases that could move as fast as 60 kilometers per hour, Alanis added. READ MORE