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78,000 villagers ran from Philippine Mount Mayon volcano

Staff Writer |
A Philippine volcano that has repeatedly disgorged fountains of lava, ash and molten rock and driven more than 78,000 villagers from their homes remains swollen with magma and could erupt destructively.

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In its nearly two weeks of erupting, Mount Mayon in the northeastern province of Albay may have ejected roughly 30 percent of its magma, but its swollen sides indicate more molten material may have risen near the crater ahead of a potentially more powerful blast, said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The possible explosion could be as powerful as Mayon's major eruptions during the past 50 years, including one in 2000 in which it blew ash 11 miles into the sky.

Some past eruptions have been deadly, including an 1814 blast that buried an entire town in volcanic debris and left 1,200 people dead, but there have been no reports of injuries in its current eruption.


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