Authorities in the Philippines have ordered residents living near Kanlaon volcano in the country’s west to evacuate, after an eruption sent a 5km (three mile) plume of ash into the sky.

The six-minute explosive eruption on Monday caused a “strong earthquake” and prompted the suspension of work and schools in nearby Canlaon City, while three airlines cancelled 32 flights on Tuesday.

“Go down to your respective evacuation centres, be vigilant, and prepare important things such as water and food,” said Jose Chubasco Cardenas, mayor of Canlaon City in Negros Oriental province.

Government officials on Tuesday also warned of the possibility of further eruptions including hazardous ash fall and sulphuric odour. They said that rivers downstream were at risk of flash floods, mudflows and other hazards.

Timelapse IP Camera footage from 6:51 PM to 6:57 PM of the explosive eruption at the Kanlaon Volcano summit crater taken by the Canlaon City (VKCC) observation station, 03 June 2024. The plume rose to 5000 meters above the vent. Incandescent ejecta can be seen to collapse from…

— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) June 3, 2024

The country’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) posted an increase to its alert level on X, warning of further “explosive eruptions”.

The seismology agency said people should be careful of ash particles.

“We advise people to wear face masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash,” Teresito Bacolcol, chief of the state seismology agency, told local radio.

In the nearby Negros Occidental province, more than 700 people were taking shelter in evacuation centres, governor Jose Lacson said.

“We advise them to stay there, and for those not yet in evacuation centres, I hope they can reconsider.”

Government agencies are yet to report missing, injured, or if there were fatalities since the eruption on Monday.

People take shelter inside a school building after the eruption of Kanlaon volcano. Photograph: CCLGU-PIO/EPA

Response teams have been deployed in the affected areas to move the residents to safe places, the state civil defence agency said in a statement late Monday.

Kanlaon is one of the country’s two dozen active volcanoes and last erupted in December 2017.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common.

With Reuters

This article was amended on 4 June 2024 to remove an inaccurate map of the Philippines.