Displaced Filipinos brace for long wait as fiery Mayon rumbles on

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - A huge plume of ash billowed from the glowing peak of the Philippines' most active volcano on Thursday, as more residents of surrounding areas fled and experts warned of further escalation 12 days after it started to erupt.

A cloud hovered some 8,202 feet above Mount Mayon in central Albay province and orange lava fountained and flowed down from its crater as magma continued to move beneath.

Scientists recorded regular episodes of intense activity throughout the day. Tourists, residents and media gathered at vantage points to document the drama at the country's most impressive volcano, which last erupted in 2014.

Mayon's unrest has displaced about 75,500 people, the majority of whom are in evacuation centers, where children lined up for meals and parents braced for the possibility of a long stay away from home.

31 PHOTOS
Life in the Philippines amid Mount Mayon eruption
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Life in the Philippines amid Mount Mayon eruption
Mount Mayon makes a mild eruption as seen from Daraga, Albay province, Philippines, January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A farmer works on a rice farm while Mount Mayon volcano spews ash during a new eruption in Daraga, Albay province, Philippines January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Lava flows from the crater of Mount Mayon volcano during a new eruption in Legazpi city, Albay province, Philippines January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A view of Mount Mayon volcano as it erupted anew, from Our Lady of the Gate Parish church in Daraga, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A view of the Mount Mayon volcano as it erupted anew in Daraga, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A view of the Mayon Volcano after a new eruption in Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A resident wearing a face mask waits for relief goods after Mayon Volcano erupted at Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A worker carries a sack of relief goods to be distributed to the residents staying at a temporary evacuation centre after Mayon Volcano erupted at Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Lava flows from the crater of Mount Mayon volcano during a new eruption in Legazpi city, Albay province, Philippines January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A resident washes tomatoes covered by ash from Mayon Volcano after an eruption at Guinobatan, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Residents staying at a temporary evacuation center wait for relief goods after Mayon Volcano erupted at Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A resident staying at a temporary evacuation center receives relief goods after Mayon Volcano erupt anew in Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Tourists pose in front of Mayon volcano in Daraga, Albay in central Philippines April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Residents stay at a temporary evacuation center after Mayon Volcano erupted at Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A local tourist poses in front of Mayon volcano in Daraga, Albay in central Philippines April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Local residents, wearing masks to protect from breathing in ash caused by the eruption of Mayon volcano, walk along a road in the town of Guinobatan in Albay province, south of Manila, on January 25, 2018. Philippine authorities who have declared a no-go zone around an erupting volcano said January 25 they will remove all holdouts, by force if necessary, to avoid casualties after tens of thousands of other residents fled to safety. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
An ambulance speeds along a highway as Mayon volcano continues to erupt as seen from Camalig town in Albay province, south of Manila, on January 25, 2018. Philippine authorities who have declared a no-go zone around an erupting volcano said January 25 they will remove all holdouts, by force if necessary, to avoid casualties after tens of thousands of other residents fled to safety. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents go about daily life as Mount Mayon makes a mild eruption as seen from Daraga, Albay province, Philippines, January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Water buffalos roam a swamp as Mount Mayon spews smoke as seen from Guinobatan, Albay province, Philippines, January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A couple on motorcycle, their faces covered with masks to protect them from ash, ride on a highway as Mayon volcano continues to erupt as seen from Camalig town in Albay province, south of Manila, on January 25, 2018. Philippine authorities who have declared a no-go zone around an erupting volcano said January 25 they will remove all holdouts, by force if necessary, to avoid casualties after tens of thousands of other residents fled to safety. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents look on as Mount Mayon erupts as seen from Legazpi, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
PHILIPPINES - 2018/01/24: Mt. Mayon volcano 2nd explosion again this morning at 7:30 am with volcanic ash falls and lava flow from the view of Daraga, Albay, Bicol on January 24, 2018. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) declared alert number 8 and wider the danger zone to 8 kilometers area after explosions the continues active activities of the volcano this past several days. (Photo by Gregorio B. Dantes Jr./Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PHILIPPINES - 2018/01/24: Residents of Daraga affected after the heavy ash falls that was released by Mt. Mayon this morning at 7:30 am with volcanic ashes falls and lava flow , its almost hard to breath and to view because of the effect of ash fall that becomes haze in Guinobatan, Albay Bicol on January 24, 2018. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) declared alert number 4 and wider the danger zone to 8 kilometers area after explosions the continues active activities of the volcano this past several days. The Bicolanos used a face mask and towel from the ash dust. (Photo by Gregorio B. Dantes Jr./Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A woman stands amid plants covered in thick ash at a school converted into an evacuation center in Camalig, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Residents wear face masks amidst heavy ashfall at an evacuation center in Camalig, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Houses and trees are seen covered in thick ash following volcanic eruptions from Mount Mayon in Guinobatan, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A woman covers the face of a child as Mount Mayon spews a huge column of ash noon in Camalig, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Houses and trees are seen covered in thick ash following volcanic eruptions from Mount Mayon in Guinobatan, Albay province, Philippines, January 24, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Residents walks along a lava barrier as Mount Mayon makes a mild eruption in Daraga, Albay province, Philippines, January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A jeepney crosses a bridge as Mount Mayon makes a mild eruption in Daraga, Albay province, Philippines, January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Mount Mayon as seen from Daraga, Albay province, Philippines, morning of January 25, 2018. Mount Mayon, the Philipines' most active volcano located in eastern Philippines, has been spewing fresh lava and ash for almost two weeks. More than 74,000 people have been evacuated in emergency shelters as authorities warn of a potentialy hazardous eruption that could take place in just days. Photo: Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto (Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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"We are worried. We got used to the volcano, but we are still afraid," said one evacuee, Irene Agao.

"If only we could, we would go home right now, away from this evacuation center, but we need to stay. Because we never know what else the beautiful Mayon volcano will do."

Government offices and schools have been closed in 17 towns and municipalities and 66 flights have been canceled in recent days. The authorities have warned residents far from the area to stay indoors to avoid heavy ash fall.

The alert remains just one notch below the highest level of 5, after five more episodes. The provincial government has expanded the no-go area around the 2,462-metre (8,077-foot) Mayon to a radius of 9 kilometers.

Mayon was showing no signs of calming down soon, said Paul Alanis of the Philippine volcanology agency.

"Right now our instruments around the volcano are measuring or detecting magma constantly coming up from below," Alanis said.

"So there's always that danger, that this may still escalate."

19 PHOTOS
Mayon volcano erupts
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Mayon volcano erupts
DARAGA, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 21 : Lava flows from the crater of Mayon volcano in Daraga, Albay, Philippines on January 21, 2018. Thousands evacuate as Philippines' Mayon volcano started to spew lava and ash as Philippine Volcanology Institute describes the event as a quiet eruption. Alert level 3 has been issued by authorities and warned that the activity could lead to eruptions of magma (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - This photo taken on January 15, 2018 shows lava cascading the slopes of Mayon volcano as it erupts, as seen from Legazpi City in Albay province south of Manila. Spectacular lava 'fireworks' shooting from its crater are drawing tourists to the Philippines' most active volcano, authorities said as scientists warned of a potential dangerous eruption within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Motorists travel on a highway as Mount Mayon shot up a giant mushroom-shaped cloud as it continues to erupt near Camalig town, near Legazpi City in Albay province, south of Manila on January 22, 2018. A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on January 22, witnesses and officials said, darkening the skies and raining ash on surrounding communities where tens of thousands have fled an impending eruption. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A resident covers her face from ashfall after Mount Mayon shot up a giant mushroom-shaped cloud as it continues to erupt in Ligao town, near Legazpi City in Albay province, south of Manila on January 22, 2018. A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on January 22, witnesses and officials said, darkening the skies and raining ash on surrounding communities where tens of thousands have fled an impending eruption. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Lava from Mayon volcano is seen as it erupts in Legazpi on January 15, 2018. The Philippines raised the alert level for the country's most active volcano twice in 24 hours on January 14, meaning that a hazardous eruption is possible within days.

(CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents sleep at a temporary shelter after being evacuated from their homes due to Mayon volcano's eruption in Camalig town, Albay province, south of Manila on January 15, 2018. Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on January 15 in what volcanologists described as a 'quiet eruption', warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
LEGAZPI, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 17: Residents inside a mall view and take pictures of Mayon volcano as it spews ash and lava on January 17, 2018 in Legazpi, Albay, Philippines. Thousands evacuate as Philippines' Mayon volcano started to spew lava and ash as Philippine Volcanology Institute describes the event as a quiet eruption. Alert level 3 has been issued by authorities and warned that the activity could lead to eruptions of magma. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Cloud-covered Mayon volcano spews ash as it erupts near the Philippine city of Legazpi in Albay province, early on January 16, 2018. Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on January 15 in what volcanologists described as a 'quiet eruption', warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Residents ride on the back of a truck as they are evacuated to a temporary shelter due to Mayon volcano's eruption in Camalig town, Albay province, south of Manila on January 15, 2018. Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on January 15 in what volcanologists described as a 'quiet eruption', warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents sleep at a temporary shelter after being evacuated from their homes due to Mayon volcano's eruption in Camalig town, Albay province, south of Manila on January 15, 2018. Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on January 15 in what volcanologists described as a 'quiet eruption', warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Cloud-covered Mayon volcano spews ash as it erupts near the Philippine city of Legazpi in Albay province, early on January 16, 2018. Thousands fled from their homes as lava oozed out of a rumbling Philippine volcano on January 15 in what volcanologists described as a 'quiet eruption', warning it could lead to a hazardous explosion within days. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A giant mushroom-shaped cloud rises into the air from the Mayon volcano, seen from the highway in the town of Camalig, near Legazpi City in Albay province, south of Manila on January 22, 2018. The giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on January 22, witnesses and authorities said, darkening the skies and raining ash on communities where tens of thousands have fled an impending eruption. / AFP PHOTO / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - The glow (at top) of lava from the cloud-covered Mayon volcano as it erupts is pictured from the Philippine city of Legazpi in Albay province, early on January 15, 2018. The Philippines raised the alert level for the country's most active volcano twice in 24 hours on January 14, meaning that a hazardous eruption is possible within days. / AFP PHOTO / Simvale SAYAT (Photo credit should read SIMVALE SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
CAMALIG PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 17: Horses are seen as mount Mayon continues to spew lava in the background on January 18, 2018 in Camalig, Albay, Philippines. Thousands evacuate as Philippines' Mayon volcano started to spew lava and ash as Philippine Volcanology Institute describes the event as a quiet eruption. Alert level 3 has been issued by authorities and warned that there� a possibility that the explosions could turn (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)
The glow (at top) of lava from the cloud-covered Mayon volcano as it erupts is pictured from the Philippine city of Legazpi in Albay province, early on January 15, 2018. The Philippines raised the alert level for the country's most active volcano twice in 24 hours on January 14, meaning that a hazardous eruption is possible within days. / AFP PHOTO / Simvale SAYAT (Photo credit should read SIMVALE SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A driver cleans ash from the windshield of his bus after Mount Mayon shot up a giant mushroom-shaped cloud as it continues to erupt in Ligao town, near Legazpi City in Albay province, south of Manila on January 22, 2018. A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on January 22, witnesses and officials said, darkening the skies and raining ash on surrounding communities where tens of thousands have fled an impending eruption. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Motorists drive along an ash-covered road after Mount Mayon shot up a giant mushroom-shaped cloud as it continues to erupt in Ligao town, near Legazpi City in Albay province, south of Manila on January 22, 2018. A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on January 22, witnesses and officials said, darkening the skies and raining ash on surrounding communities where tens of thousands have fled an impending eruption. / AFP PHOTO / CHARISM SAYAT (Photo credit should read CHARISM SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
DARAGA, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 21 : Lava flows from the crater of Mayon volcano in Daraga, Albay, Philippines on January 21, 2018. Thousands evacuate as Philippines' Mayon volcano started to spew lava and ash as Philippine Volcanology Institute describes the event as a quiet eruption. Alert level 3 has been issued by authorities and warned that the activity could lead to eruptions of magma (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CAMALIG, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 17: Pyroclastic cloud is being spewed by lava emissions of Mayon volcano on January 17, 2018 in Camalig, Albay in the Philippines. Thousands evacuate as Philippines' Mayon volcano started to spew lava and ash as Philippine Volcanology Institute describes the event as a quiet eruption. Alert level 3 has been issued by authorities and warned that the activity could lead to eruptions of magma. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)
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(Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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