Mayon Alert Level Raised to Three

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Mayon Alert Level Raised to Three

See the story in its original format at: ABS-CBN News Online

LEGAZPI - Residents were warned Saturday to keep away from Mayon volcano as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level after lava trickled from its crater overnight.

"Alert level three has been hoisted in the volcano over the past 24 hours," Alejo Baloloy, a science research analyst with the state volcanology institute, told AFP.

"There has been an increased tendency [toward] a hazardous eruption," he said, but ruled out a sudden, major eruption.

"Right now, we are on a mild eruption phase, with high frequency tremors attributed to rockfalls by the detached lava from the dome."

Mount Mayon, with Legazpi City in the foreground.

He predicted a major eruption could take place "within weeks."

Alert level three of the five-step alert system means that there is "relatively high unrest" in the volcano with volcanic quakes and tremors expected to become frequent ahead of an eruption.

Baloloy advised residents in towns and villages near the 2,462-meter (8,077-foot) tall volcano, famous for its near-perfect cone shape, not to enter a six-kilometer (nearly four mile) radius permanent danger zone.

Residents in the city of Legazpi, close to the volcano, said glowing lava could be seen near Mayon's crater.

The volcano, about 300 kilometers (176 miles) southeast of Manila, last had a major eruption in July 2001.

More than 1,000 people are believed to have perished when the volcano erupted in 1814. AFP



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