Philippines: volcano close to erruption; people leaving houses

Philippines: volcano close to erruption; people leaving houses
Philippines: volcano close to erruption; people leaving houses

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert for the 8,118-foot Mayon volcano to Level 4, the second-highest level. Officials also extended the government's permanent"danger zone"from 4.3 miles to 5 miles on the volcano's southern side, according to the AP.

About 35,000 villagers were being evacuated Monday, and an additional 20,000 people will be moved out if there is a major eruption, said Gov. Fernando Gonzalez of Albay province, about 210 miles southeast of Manila on Luzon island.

Classes were immediately suspended in parts of Legaspi city, the provincial capital. Army trucks and government vehicles have been deployed to ferry residents to 34 evacuation centers, officials said.