Over 30,000 flee as volcano threatens to erupt in Philippines

More than 30,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the Philippines' most active volcano spews lava, sparking fears it may be about to erupt.

Glowing lava and ash clouds have begun to emir from Mount Mayon in Albay province, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila.

Officials ordered at least 34,038 people to evacuate amid fears that it may suddenly explode in a full eruption of deadly molten lava.

Police checkpoints have been set up to turn away curious tourists or residents trying to get into the danger zone reaching around 6 to 7 kilometers (3.7 to 4.3 miles) around Mayon.

"They say it's beauty juxtaposed with danger," Office of Civil Defense regional director Claudio Yucot said.

Residents from at least two cities and six towns were told to leave, with many forced to move into temporary shelters set up in schools.

Lava has already flowed as far as two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Mount Mayon tips, while an ash cloud shrouded the top of the volcano.

Albay officials declared a state of calamity in the province of more than a million people to allow more rapid disbursement of disaster funds.

Scientists say the lava flows are not caused by an explosion, but are the result of fragments of lava breaking away from the main flow and falling down the volcano's slopes.

Scientists have not yet detected enough volcanic earthquakes of the type that would prompt them to raise the alert level to four on a scale of five, which would indicate an explosive eruption may be imminent, experts said.