The Philippines Mayon volcano eruption, expected any day now, could pose lingering danger and keep farmers off their land for months.
Tens of thousands of refugees from the area around the Mount Mayon volcano face an anxious Christmas in evacuation centers. Their lives are safe, but they can now only watch and pray that an eruption will not destroy their livelihoods.
Residents from the eastern Philippines could face weeks or even months away from their land, leaving their homes unguarded and fields untended. Officials have learned from previous eruptions of Mayon and other volcanoes in the Philippines: A quick return is not the safest course.
"Will this activity last for months? Yes. In 2006, it emitted ash and oozed lava for two months," says Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology based in Manila.
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