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Philippine volcano eruption possible within days

Monday, December 21st, 2009 12:30pm MDT
With glowing red lava now flowing regularly down its sides and seismic activity ‘dramatically increased,’ an eruption of the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines is now considered imminent. Activity on the mountain has steadily increased over the past week and prompted the evacuation of nearly 45,000 area residents.

Today the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level for the volcano to level four which means an eruption is possible within days. A level four alert is second to only level five which would involve an actual eruption taking place.

In its latest alert, the service said “seismic activity dramatically increased in number and size” noting that nearly 2,000 volcanic quakes had been detected. Glowing, red hot lava was easily seen flowing down the slopes of the mountain at night and booms and rumbling were heard. The lava flow now extends more than three miles down the mountain and sulfur dioxide (SO2) is being emitted at a rate of more than 6,000 tons per day.

Emphasizing the danger, PHIVOLCS said in its warning that “a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within days.” With the heightened alert level, it is expected that the evacuation radius will be extended out to five miles from the mountain possibly impacting thousands of more people.

There's more to this story on the Denver Weather Examiner's site!For the amazing photos of the volcano’s recent activity and more details on the possible eruption, please visit the Natural Disasters Examiner.

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