Holdouts start fleeing Mayon

Photo shows young evacuees praying during a special class at a temporary shelter in a village near the town of Guinobatan.

Photo shows young evacuees praying during a special class at a temporary shelter in a village near the town of Guinobatan.

LEGAZPI CITY , Philippines – More than 3,000 villagers remaining in a prohibited danger zone around the rumbling Mayon volcano yesterday began to leave after officials threatened to force them out.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that powerful booming sounds emanating from the volcano indicated that a major eruption was imminent.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said seismic activity had “increased in number and size” in the past 24 hours and a total of 1,942 volcanic quakes were detected since Sunday, after the alert level was raised from 3 to 4, following a greater frequency of earthquakes and sulfur dioxide emissions.

Yesterday, sulfur dioxide emissions continued to be “very high” and the glow of crimson lava could be seen oozing from the volcano overnight.

In Guinobatan village, lying on a dirt road in the foothills of Mayon, district officials and police went house to house, urging residents to board a truck and take shelter outside the danger zone.

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