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Philippine Volcano Roars

January 29, 2001

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The Mayon volcano shook with dozens of small earthquakes and belched 10 times more sulfur dioxide than normal, indicating an eruption in days or weeks, scientists said Monday.

Emissions of more than 5,000 tons a day of sulfur dioxide have been recorded since Sunday morning, and magma bubbles are several hundred feet below the surface and could soon erupt, volcanologist Julio Sabit.

The conical 8,118-foot mountain, some 215 miles southeast of Manila, last erupted Feb. 24, 2000, driving 68,000 people from their homes.

Sabit said that a four-mile area around Mayon was declared permanently off limits after the volcano erupted last Feb. 24 and forced evacuation of area villages and farms from its fertile slopes.

Mayon’s most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1,200 people and buried an entire town in volcanic mud.

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