Thousands spend Christmas away from home and rumbling volcano

Thousands spend Christmas away from home and rumbling volcano


The evacuees were given food packages by the government and non-government organisations to celebrate the holiday away from home and the restive Mayon Volcano in Albay province, 360 km south-east of Manila.

"We are doing our best to uplift the spirit of our provincemates this Christmas despite the inconveniences they are facing at the evacuation centres," Albay Governor Joey Salceda said.

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warned that a hazardous explosion remained a strong possibility in the coming days amid Mayon's intense activity.
The institute said that overnight, it recorded 871 volcanic earthquakes and 96 ash explosions that reached as high as two km from the crater.
A total of 125 rumbling and booming sounds were heard Friday morning, an indication of rising magma, the institute said.

Lava continued to flow out of Mayon's crater, and the lava flow had reached five km from the crater.
"Ninety-eight rockfall events related to detachment of lava fragments at the volcano's upper slopes were also detected," the institute said.
A platoon of soldiers scoured the danger zone in an eight km radius around the volcano to forcefully evacuate residents who refused to leave their homes.
A total of 47,558 families had been moved to 28 evacuation centres as of early Friday, according to regional disaster relief officials.

The 2,472-metre volcano has erupted about 50 times since 1616. It last erupted in July 2006, forcing more than 30,000 people to flee their homes.
Mayon's most violent eruption was in 1814 when more than 1,200 people were killed and a town was buried in volcanic mud. An eruption in 1993 killed 79 people.

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