LEGAZPI, Philippines, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Tens of thousands of people were being evacuated Tuesday from areas near the Philippines’ Mayon Volcano, local reports indicated.
The Philippine News Agency said that authorities were evacuating 50,000 residents from the area after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology predicted Monday night that a “full-blown eruption” was likely within weeks or even days, CNN said.
The Institute’s Alex Baloloy reportedly told PNA that the alert level for Mayon was raised to “level 3,” meaning an eruption was imminent, after seismic instruments had detected 83 volcanic quakes.
CNN said residents of Albay province had flocked to the area to observe the lava flows from Mayon, a perfectly-shaped volcano rising to a height of 8,077 feet. It has erupted 49 times since the year 1616, volcanologists say.
The Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office told PNA that 9,946 families, or 47,285 people, would be taken out of harm’s way over the next three days.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International