Philippines

Philippine volcano subsides, alert lowered

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MANILA, March 9 (Reuters) - Philippine scientists lowered the alert around the Mayon volcano on Thursday, saying it appeared to be quietening down, but warned the danger of mudflows from its slopes remained.

The vulcanology institute said it had downgraded the alert around Mayon, in the central Philippines, to level four, meaning it was still restive, from the maximum five, which meant it was in a state of eruption.

It said the six-km (3.7-mile) radius from the volcano's crater, which has been prescribed as a no-go zone, remained off limits to villagers because of the danger of mudflows.

Tonnes of volcanic rocks and ashes deposited on Mayon's slopes can turn into deadly rivers of mud when loosened by rains.

Nearly 70,000 villagers fled their homes and a woman died of a heart attack after Mayon unleashed a series of eruptions starting on February 24. It killed 77 people in its last major eruption in 1993.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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