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Wed 8 May 2013 11:16 AM

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Philippines volcano erupts, killing four

Major rescue operation launched on Mount Mayon which is a popular destination for climbers

Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Resuers attend to Nicanor Mabao Jr., one of the Filipino tour guides who survived after the eruption. Three German tourists and their Filipino guide were killed by the hail of rocks. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Mount Mayon volcano spews a thick column of ash and rocks 500 metres (1,600 feet) into the air, as seen from the city of Legazpi, albay province, southeast of Manila. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
The volcano is a popular climbing destination, and the eruption triggered a rescue effort after reports that a group of tourists was trapped climbing the peak. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Policemen carry Nicanor Mabao Jr., a stretcher from the slope of Mayon volcano. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Another Filipino tour guide, Keneth Gesalva, rests inside a car after he was rescued from the mountain. Gesalva was one of a group of up to 20 foreigners and their guides who were on the slopes of picturesque Mount Mayon when it erupted without warning. Rescue workers had been dispatched on helicopters to search for survivors, officials and a tour operator said. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Thai climbers who were part of tour group that trekked to the slopes of Mayon volcano and survived the eruption, wait to be checked at a hospital in Legazpi city. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
The 2,460-metre (8,070-foot) Mayon volcano has erupted 48 times in recorded history. In 1814, more than 1,200 people were killed when lava flows buried the town of Cagsawa. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
The last eruption was in December 2009, prompting a mass evacuation from the area. (Getty Images)
Philippines volcano erupts, killing four
Tens of thousands of evacuees finally returned home early in 2010 when the alert level was lowered. (Getty Images)