The Philippines raised the alert level at its most active volcano, Mount Mayon, on Monday after fresh activity. Mayon has been spewing lava and a cloud of ash since 13 January, forcing more than 40,000 residents to flee their homes in the central province of Albay. Authorities raised the alert level to four on a scale of five because a hazardous and violent eruption is expected within days. An 8km (five mile) exclusion zone has been put in place around the volcano. Authorities have shut schools and urged residents to remain indoors, as the volcano’s huge plume of smoke now reaches 10km into the sky.Authorities have shut schools and urged residents to remain indoors, as the volcano’s huge plume of smoke now reaches 10km into the sky. Albay province has run out of emergency funds, said provincial governor Al Francis Bichara, and more people would be evacuated once federal financial help arrived. “In some areas… it’s already zero visibility, especially along the foot of the volcano,” he told CNN Philippines, adding that strong winds could carry ash to distant towns.