By Alix Culbertson, News Reporter
Thick lava gushes from Mount Mayon and flows down its crater. An ash cloud towers 8,202ft in the Philippine sky.
Photographer Romeo Ranoco captures it all in a collection of stunning pictures, from streets which are growing more deserted by the day.
From the distance at which he stands the violent activity seems to occur in slow motion – the orange mass of crystals, liquid and bubbles seemingly tumbling from the volcano’s throat. But those born and raised nearby are afraid.
The 8,077ft tall volcano – in central Albay province, southeast of Manila – has forced more than 75,000 villagers to flee the area, an increase of 19,000 since Tuesday.
Most are now in evacuation centres where children queue for snacks and meals as their parents worry about a long stay away from home.
A disaster relief official warned on Tuesday that those who do not evacuate face “a death penalty” as pyroclastic flows will hit people, killing them instantly.
Volcanologists have warned Mount Mayon shows no signs of calming.
On Thursday, 12 days after the volcano began to erupt, scientists recorded regular episodes of intense activity.
“Right now our instruments around the volcano are measuring or detecting magma constantly coming up from below,” Paul Alanis of the Philippine volcanology agency said.
“So there’s always that danger, that this may still escalate.”
There is a widespread respect for the volcano from people living in the 5.6-mile evacuation radius.
Evacuee Irene Agao said: “We are worried. We got used to the volcano, but we are still afraid.
“If only we could, we would go home right now, away from this evacuation centre, but we need to stay.
“Because we never know what else the beautiful Mayon volcano will do.”
Authorities have warned residents miles from the area to remain indoors to avoid heavy ash fall.
Government offices and schools have been closed in 17 towns and municipalities and 66 flights have been cancelled in recent days.
The alert remains just one below the highest level of five after it was raised on Monday from three.
Mount Mayon lies on the boundary of the Eurasian and Philippine tectonic plates, making Mayon the country’s most active volcano.
Thanks to the Philippine Sea Plate, which covers the archipelago, there are 25 active volcanoes as it converges with the Eurasian, Pacific and Australian Plates.