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Mount Bulusan in Philippines under close watch

Volcano spewed 200-metre high column of ash causing alarm to residents

From Gulf News

Manila: Mount Bulusan in Southern Luzon’s Sorsogon province is being closely watched for signs of a possible eruption after the volcano ejected steam and ash last Friday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday that concerned government agencies, particularly the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the armed services are on standby in the event Mt. Bulusan’s activities show signs of intensifying.

Currently, the NDRRMC and the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology are observing “0” alert level.

Under the Phivolcs volcanic activity protocol, alert level five equates to actual hazardous volcanic eruption while 1 indicated “low level seismic, fumarolic, other unrest.”

Mount Bulusan spewed a 200-metre high column of ash for some five minutes on Friday causing alarm to residents.

The ash ejection episode started at 8am with the ash clouds drifting towards the villages of Puting Sapa and Sangayon in Juban town, as well as the villages of Cogon, Gulang-Gulang, and Tinampo in Irosin town.

Valte advised people living near the volcano to avoid the government-declared four-kilometre radius danger zone close to the summit.

“There is a possibility of steam driven or phreatic eruption,” she said. Civil aviation authorities have been ordered to issue warnings to pilots flying over the area.

Located at the southernmost portion of the main Luzon island, Mt Bulusan, like Mt Mayon 127 kilometres away in the north, is an active volcano.

The 1,565 metre-high Mt Bulusan underwent a similar volcanic activity in 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2006.

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