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Philippines — The Philippine volcano Mount Mayon spewed ash and rocks early Tuesday, killing four German tourists and one of their Filipino guides as they made their way up to view the crater.
Twenty-seven hikers, including tour guides, in several groups were hiking up to the summit when the volcano shot out the ash and rocks, Gov. Joey Salceda of the Philippine province of Albay told The Wall Street Journal.
One injured tour guide leading a hiking group told GMA News television, “It was raining rocks.”
Five climbers, including two Thais, have reached base camps but have yet to be brought down from the mountain, the governor said. Rescue operations, which included helicopters, were suspended for Tuesday to minimize the risk for the rescuers and will resume early Wednesday when visibility improves, he said.
In addition to the dead, seven people were injured, including one Austrian, said Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Kenneth Gesalva, one of the injured mountain guides who accompanied the killed German tourists, told television station ANC that he and two other guides saw large rocks roll over at least one of the five foreigners in their hiking party.
Bon Deblois, a tour guide leading another hiking group, told GMA News television they heard a loud explosion before visibility was reduced.