The Philippines' most active volcano on Saturday spewed a thick cloud of ash, prompting hundreds of people to flee homes surrounding the mountain, officials said.
The ash column reached 2,500 metres in height from the crater of Mayon Volcano in Albay province, 330 kilometres south of Manila, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
‘We could not see the extent of the ashfall due to thick clouds enveloping Mount Mayon,’ said Cedric Daep, chief of the provincial emergency management office.
More than 200 residents in the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig and Cabangan have fled their homes at the foot of Mayon due to the ashfall, said Chief Inspector Arthur Gomez, spokesman for the provincial police.
The displaced residents were staying in schools converted into evacuation centres, he added.
The 2,472-metre volcano has erupted about 50 times since 1616. Its last deadly eruption was in May 2013, killing five hikers and wounding seven other people.
Mayon's most violent eruption was in 1814, when more than 1,200 people were killed and a town was buried in volcanic mud. An eruption in 1993 killed 79 people.
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