Mount Mayon continues to eject more lava and ash, while displacing 61,000 Filipinos since January 13, according to a fresh count by the country's disaster agency.

A column of ash shoots up from the Mayon volcano as it continues to erupt, seen from the town of Daraga in Albay province, south of Manila on January 24, 2018.
A column of ash shoots up from the Mayon volcano as it continues to erupt, seen from the town of Daraga in Albay province, south of Manila on January 24, 2018. (AFP)

The number of people displaced by an erupting Philippine volcano soared to more than 61,000, the Southeast Asian country's disaster agency said on Wednesday, as Mount Mayon ejected lava that produced an ash plume five kilometres high.

The alert remains just one notch below the highest level, which is five, after five more episodes of "intense but sporadic lava fountaining" from the summit crater over a 19-hour period from Tuesday morning, state volcanologists said.

Lava fountains 500-600 metres high lasted between seven minutes and more than an hour, and generated ash plumes 3-5 km above the crater, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

TRT World spoke to Mindanao-based journalist Noel Tarrazona for more details on how the volcanic activity is affecting life and the local economy.

Schools were shut down in 17 cities and municipalities in Albay and nearby Camarines Sur province, which was also affected by ash fall. 

Some 56 flights were cancelled because of Mayon, the Philippines' most active and most picturesque volcano.

There were 55,068 residents in temporary shelters, a substantial increase from about 40,000 on Monday. 

Some 6,165 evacuees were staying elsewhere.

The number of displaced people increased after the provincial government expanded the danger zone around the 2,462-metre volcano to a radius of 9 km from the 8 km no-go zone.

Mayon's sporadic eruption, which began on January 13, has affected 54 villages in Albay, with a combined population of 71,373 people.

Source: Reuters