Philippines volcano causes people to flee

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The 6-km PDZ includes the barangays of Quirangay, Sua, Tumpa, and Tinubran in Camalig; Tandarora and Maninila in Guinobatan; Miisi, Budiao, and Matnog in Daraga; Calbayog and Canaway in Malilipot; Buang, Buhian, and Magapo in Tabaco City; and Baligang and Amtic in Ligao City.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) advised civil aviation authorities to tell pilots "to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft".

Marasigan could not immediately say the exact number of persons composing the 919 families evacuated but a family is usually composed of four to five members.

The eruptions, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Sunday, prompted the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Albay to issue an evacuation order to residents living within the six to eight kilometer permanent danger zone.

Ashfall events may most likely occur on the southwest side of the volcano based on the seasonal wind pattern, PHIVOLCS said.

Prior to this phreatic eruption, Mayon's edifice has undergone inflationary changes or a slight swelling of the edifice as indicated by ground deformation data recorded by continuous Global Positioning System and tilt since October and November 2017, respectively.

More than 12,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from a seven kilometre danger zone around the crater as officials warned them of potentially destructive mudflows and toxic clouds

"That is why there is no need for forced evacuation since there is already a threat [coming from Mayon]".

The volcano, located to the southeast of Luzon Island and around 350 km from Manila, has erupted up to three times in the last 24 hours, Efe news agency reported.

A second ash eruption was recorded before noon on Sunday, but Phivolcs said in a subsequent bulletin that it was maintaining alert level 2.

Phivolcs raised the alert to level 2, which means that the current activity is "probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions".

Dr Eric Raborar said the hospital's emergency department is on standby for possible cases related to the ash eruptions.

Mayon, an active volcano, was placed under "critical" alert when it last spewed white smoke on September 2014 and caused thousands to flee the area. It was followed by rumbling sounds and a faint glow in the crater, Phivolcs said.

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