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Philippines Warns Mount Mayon Could Erupt, Begins Evacuation


FILE - Smoke billows from the crater of Mayon volcano, one of the country's most active volcanoes, in Albay province about 550 kilometers southeast of Manila, Philippines, Feb. 26, 2014.

The Philippines has begun a forced evacuation of residents near the country's most active volcano, which officials warn is glowing red and could soon erupt.

Authorities said Tuesday a recent increase in volcanic earthquakes and rockfalls at Mount Mayon means there could be a hazardous eruption "within weeks."

Anyone living within six kilometers of the volcano is being evacuated. Soldiers are preventing those who have left from returning to their homes.

The 2,460-meter Mount Mayon, which is located about 340 kilometers south of Manila in Albay province, is known for its picturesque conical shape.

It has erupted dozens of times in the last several hundred years. The most violent eruption occurred in 1814, when lava buried the town of Cagsawa, killing 1,200 people.

In May 2013, five climbers were killed near the summit after the volcano spewed ash on them.