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Philippine volcano explodes, authorities raise alert level

Children playing near a lake as Mayon volcano spews ash and lava on January 17, 2018 in Camalig, Albay, Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

MANILA, Philippines  — The Philippines’ most active volcano has exploded thunderously and authorities warn a hazardous eruption is possible within days.

Renato Solidum of the Philippines Institute of Seismology and Volcanology and other officials said Mount Mayon ejected a huge column of volcanic fragments, ash and steam into the sky around noon Monday, shrouding nearby villages in darkness.

Authorities raised the alert level to four on a scale of five, which means an explosive eruption is possible within days.

Mayon has been acting up for more than a week, causing more than 27,000 villagers to flee to safety.