updated 10/18/2007 4:28:21 PM ET 2007-10-18T20:28:21

Mudflows triggered by heavy rains on the slopes of the restive Bulusan volcano prompted an evacuation of 1,500 residents, but some families kept returning in disregard for their safety, Philippine authorities said Thursday.

At least three villages in Irosin township, on the foot of the 5,150-foot Mt. Bulusan in the central Philippines, were flooded by mud and volcanic debris loosen by days of rains, said Mayor Lilia Gonzales.

"It's the second time this week that they were evacuated," she told Radio DZRH. "We evacuated them a day ago but they returned to their homes."

She said residents were given temporary shelters at local day-care centers and appealed to the National Disaster Coordinating Council and charities to supply food, water, medicines, sleeping mats and blankets.

She said roads were impassable and the Rangas River overflowed.

The volcano, about 240 miles southeast of Manila, has been blowing ash and steam since March 2006. Early this month, it was shaken by a series of small earthquakes and two ash explosions, but scientists ruled out an imminent eruption.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has maintained the lowest of five alert levels for the volcano and barred people from entering a 4-mile "permanent danger zone" around Bulusan.

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