The Philippines' most active volcano ejected a huge column of lava fragments, ash and smoke in a thunderous explosion Monday, sending thousands of villagers back to evacuation centers and prompting a warning that a violent eruption may be imminent.
The Department of Education (DepEd) said classes continue in Albay amid the challenges brought by the Mayon volcano's high level of unrest.
Level 5 is the highest warning, which means a hazardous eruption is taking place.
The danger zone radius around the crater has also been increased to five miles.
From the crater, the deadly debris billowed about three kilometers (1.8 miles) down on the southern plank of Mayon toward a no-entry danger zone.
The PHIVOLCS has earlier advised all Albay residents to always be on alert at all the times that the Mayon Volcano is active.
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Residents have been advised to stay indoors and wear face masks due to a vast amount of ash fallen in the villages surrounding Mt Mayon, located in Albay province in southeastern Luzon.
The Governor of Albay, Al Francis Bichara said that "this kind of eruption, it will take about weeks, so we have to sustain the operations in the evacuation centers".
"There is a possibility of a risky eruption, the start of which we are already witnessing", the institute's director, Renato Solidum, told a news conference in the nation's capital Manila.
The institute raised its alert level for the volcano to 4 on a scale of 5, citing the possibility of an explosive eruption within days.
More than 40,000 people had fled in the past week, the civil defense office in Manila said Monday. Together with the Filipino-Chinese communities, TAYO has recently provided psychosocial and relief assistance aside from hygiene kits to 2,949 families to evacuees at the Camalig North Central School, Anoling and Bariw in Camalig; and at the Guinobatan East, West and Binogsacan in Guinobatan. It also stated that lava eruptions have already resulted in an ash plume of up to 1,300 meters (4,300 feet) above the summit.
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