Philippines relocates thousands more as volcanic lava fires ash 5km high

The number of people displaced by an erupting Philippines volcano soared to more than 61,000 by Wednesday, as Mount Mayon ejected lava that produced an ash plume 5km high, Reuters reports. The alert remains just one notch below the highest level of 5 after five more episodes of “intense but sporadic lava fountaining” from the summit crater over a 19-hour period from Tuesday morning, according to state volcanologists. Lava fountains 500-600 meters high lasted between seven minutes and more than an hour and generated ash plumes 3-5 km above the crater, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. Schools were shut in 17 cities and municipalities in Albay and nearby Camarines Sur province. Some 56 flights were canceled because of Mayon, the Philippines’ most active and most picturesque volcano.