Mayon: the world's most dangerous tourist attraction
When one of the world's most active volcanoes blows its top, the obvious course of action is to give it a wide berth. Not so in the Philippines, where thousands of tourists are risking their lives to get close to the spectacular flow of lava.
The Mayon volcano, famed for its near-perfect cone, began slowly erupting two weeks ago. Tens of thousands of villagers living in its foothills have been evacuated – but tourists have been flooding in, and hotels in the area are booked out.
Joey Salceda, the governor of Albay province, which includes Mayon, said yesterday that some visitors were evading security patrols to enter the 8km danger zone for a close look. "There are enough thrill-seekers, and when you combine them with some enterprising local guides, they find their way in," he said.
Mr Salceda said that although the lava was advancing slowly, volcanic ash could combine with rainwater to form a lethal, fast-moving mud-flow. "At the moment of the eruption, the local guides will have a better chance of getting out. The hapless tourist will be left behind."
An estimated 2,400 visitors are heading daily to Mayon, with most staying overnight to watch the crimson lava oozing from the crater in the dark. "It's like a slow-moving meteor show," Mr Salceda said.
The volcano, 200 miles south-east of Manila, has erupted 48 times since 1616, most destructively in 1814, when an entire town was buried and 2,200 people died.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a world leader ...
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...