Thousands evacuated over fear of volcano eruption in Philippines hinh anh 1Red light spotted in Mayon volcano's crater, showing signals of explosion within days (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thousands of Filipinos on January 15 fled from their homes as lava oozed out of Mayon volcano in the central Albay province, showing signals of a hazardous explosion within days.

More than 12,000 people have been ordered to leave a seven-kilometre danger zone around the crater, as officials warned them of potentially destructive mudflows and toxic clouds. Because of continuous rains in past weeks, debris deposited on the slopes of Mayon could lead to volcanic mudflows.

Lava last flowed out of Mayon in 2014 when 63,000 people fled from their homes. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the lava is more fluid than in 2014, meaning the flow can reach further down at a faster rate.

The first phase of the activity started with lava flow and culminated in an explosive or hazardous part, Phivolcs said. The agency is trying to monitor the volcano’s activities to promptly issue warnings for people.

The Mayon, 2,460 metres in height and 20 kilometres in width, is one of the Philippines’s active volcanoes famous for its beauty and near-perfect symmetry.

It has erupted 51 times during the past 400 years. The most destructive eruption was reported in 1814 which killed about 1,200 people and buried three towns under mud and rock.-VNA