Rains unleashed by typhoon worry thousands of people fleeing restive Philippine
Thousands of people who fled their homes in the central Philippines to escape a restive volcano have to contend with another threat that's complicating the ongoing evacuations: monsoon rains that could be unleashed by an approaching typhoon.
More than 6,000 villagers have been forced to leave rural communities within a 6-kilometer radius of Mayon volcano's crater in northeastern Albay province. Thousands more need to be moved to safety from the permanent danger zone.
Others living outside the perimeter have packed their bags and voluntarily left with their children for evacuation centers in Albay, which was placed under a state of calamity on Friday to allow more rapid disbursement of emergency funds in case a major eruption unfolds.
Authorities raised the alert level for the volcano on Thursday after superheated streams of gas, debris and rocks cascaded down its upper slope, indicating activity below the surface that could precede a hazardous eruption within days or weeks.
A key tourist draw for its picturesque conical shape, the 2,462-meter Mayon is one of the country's most active volcanoes. It last erupted violently in 2018, displacing tens of thousands of villagers.
Authorities warned that Typhoon Guchol, which is approaching the Philippines from the Pacific but is projected to skirt the archipelago, may still dump heavy rains - an unwelcome news for those living near Mayon's slopes.