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Mount Kanlaon in Philippines' Negros Oriental erupted on Saturday morning, shooting a huge column of ash into the sky, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

The eruption started at 9:19 a.m. and continued till 9:46 a.m. Phivolcs said that the rumbling volcano ejected whitish-grey ash about 1.5km into the air.

The civil aviation office issued a warning saying: "Flights operating in the vicinity of the volcano are advised to avoid flying close to the summit as airborne ash from a sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft".

Since November, Kanlaon has been more active than usual. The government had banned hikers from its slopes.

Kenn John Veracruz, an official from Phivolcs, said that till now the authorities have not detected any lava rising inside the 2.47km-high volcano. But they are also analyzing how far the ash was being scattered by the wind and whether it could affect any of the nearby communities.

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"It has been raining in recent days so there was likely water that built up inside the volcano and since the crater is hot, it built up the steam pressure," he told AFP. He also said that there is possibility of another volcanic eruption.

Meanwhile, the civil defense office said they have not received any reports of damage or injury yet but they will remain on high alert.

The 2,345-meter Mount Kanlaon is one of the 23 active volcanoes in the country and it has had several eruptions in the past. Due to this nature of Kanlaon, the government has imposed a permanent four-kilometre "danger zone" around the volcano and people are not allowed to live in that area.

On March 29, Kanlaon erupted, affecting several residents by ash fall. The eruption destroyed hectares of grassland in Negros Occidental.

Philippines is positioned on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", which is quite active seismically. It has over 20 active volcanoes.

Last week, Mount Bulusan situated in the rural eastern province of Sorsogon had a similar eruption with an ash plume of more than 6,500 feet high (1.98 kilometers).

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