20,000 Evacuated as Philippine Volcano Oozes Lava

Manila, Philippines – The Philippines’ most active volcano oozed lava and shot up plumes of ash Tuesday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes and face the possibility of a bleak Christmas in a shelter.

State volcanologists raised the alert level on the cone-shaped, 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) Mayon volcano overnight to two steps below a major eruption after ash explosions.

Dark orange lava fragments glowed in the dark as they trickled down the mountain slope overnight. Renato Solidum, head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the activity could get worse in coming days.

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