A powerful eruption took place at Mayon volcano, Philippines around 04:45 UTC on Monday, January 22, 2018 (12:45 local time), producing a column of ash that rose up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) above sea level. At 05:10 UTC, the Tokyo VAAC reported ash cloud up to 12.5 km (41 000 feet) a.s.l. and corrected it within 30 minutes. Increased activity at the volcano forced authorities to raise the Alert Level from 3 to 4 (hazardous eruption imminent). The scale goes up to 5.
Heavy ashfall was reported in communities around the volcano and as far as Ligao City, some 35 km (21.7 miles) from Legazpi City. Albay Governor said zero visibility has been reported in parts of Guinobatan, Ligao, and Camalig after the major ash eruption, advising everyone to wear their face masks and to stay indoors, especially those in the 3rd district of Albay.
Classes in all public and private schools across the entire province have been suspended.
Volcanologist Ed Laguerta said the eruption lasted for some 8 minutes and generated pyroclastic flows towards Camalig and Guinobatan towns southwest of the volcano.
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