Officials in the Philippines have warned that an active volcano could force thousands to flee in Legazpi, Philippines.
So far, the volcano has been spewing lava in a gentle eruption, but officials warned that it could become a violent disaster, ABC News reports.
About 13,000 people have already fled villages in the area near the Mayon Volcano. Officials said it is unclear how many residents are still in the permanent danger zone below the volcano.
The area is off-limits, but villagers have long lived and farmed in the area.
Teresito Bacolcol, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said it's possible that they will have to expand the danger zone.
"What we are seeing now is an effusive eruption," Bacolcol told The Associated Press. "We are looking at this on a day-to-day basis."
The volcano is on alert level three on a five-step warning system. The top-level means that a violent eruption is underway with ash plumes and superheated pyroclastic streams.
A villager in the danger zone, Marilyn Miranda, and her elderly mother told reporters that they fled their home last week and ended up at a high school turned evacuation center. She said her nephew was checking on their home each day.
"We had this family that our end is near," Miranda said.
Another woman told reporters that her husband had recently died, but she had to hold the funeral wake in the emergency shelter because she could not return home.
"I need help to bury my husband because we don't have any money left," she said. "I cannot do anything but cry.
Her husband's coffin was nearby.
Mayon is one of 24 active volcanoes located in the Philippines. It last erupted in 2018 and forced the evacuations of thousands. Previously in 1814, the volcano erupted and killed more than 1,000 people.
The volcano stands at more than 8,000 feet.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jes Aznar/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.