75,000 People Flee as Volcano Erupts

January 25, 2018Jan 25, 2018

Mount Mayon—named for a mythological fairy–is a thing of beauty. It marks the skyline with its symmetry and classical volcano shape.

But it's also a thing of danger. Thick lava is currently gushing from Mount Mayon and flows down its crater, threatening the lives of 75,000 people who are currently under evacuation.

"An ash cloud towers 8,202ft in the Philippine sky," reported Sky News.

The 8,077ft tall volcano, which is located in the central Albay province, southeast of Manila, has forced more than 75,000 villagers who grew up at its feet to flee the area. That's 19,000 more people than were fleeing on Tuesday.

"A disaster relief official warned on Tuesday that those who do not evacuate face "a death penalty" as pyroclastic flows will hit people, killing them instantly," reported the news agency.

Volcanologists have also warned Mount Mayon, which has been rumbling for two weeks, shows no signs of calming.

On Thursday, which is 12 days after the volcano began to erupt, scientists recorded regular episodes of intense activity

"Right now our instruments around the volcano are measuring or detecting magma constantly coming up from below," Paul Alanis of the Philippine volcanology agency said.

"So there's always that danger, that this may still escalate."

The danger of escalation means there's a 5.6-mile evacuation radius.

Evacuee Irene Agao said: "We are worried. We got used to the volcano, but we are still afraid.

She continued, "If only we could, we would go home right now, away from this evacuation center, but we need to stay. Because we never know what else the beautiful Mayon volcano will do."

Authorities have also warned residents miles from the area to remain indoors to avoid heavy ash fall. Likewise, government offices and schools are closed in 17 towns and 66 flights have been canceled.

The alert for the area remains at four, which is just one below the highest level of five.

Mount Mayon lies on the boundary of the Eurasian and Philippine tectonic plates, which makes Mayon the country's most active volcano. The Philippine Sea Plate, which covers the archipelago, means there are 25 active volcanoes as it converges with the Eurasian, Pacific and Australian Plates.

Please pray for everyone in the path of the erupting volcano. In other news, an AMBER alert has just been issued after a 4-year-old disappeared. 

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