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| Philippines' Mayon Volcano Erupts Again; Authorities Raise Alert Level
The Philippines' most active volcano ejected a huge column of lava fragments, ash and smoke in a thunderous explosion Monday, sending thousands of villagers back to evacuation centers and prompting a warning that a violent eruption may be imminent. The midday explosion sent superheated lava, molten rocks and steam between 3.5 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles) into the blue sky, and then some cascaded down Mount Mayon's slopes and shrouded nearby villages in darkness, Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology and other officials said. From the crater, the deadly debris billowed about three kilometers (1.8 miles) down on the southern plank of Mayon toward a no-entry danger zone. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, officials said. The explosion was the most powerful since the volcano started acting up more than a week ago. Due to its relatively gentle eruption last week, thousands left emergency shelters and returned to their communities in