Phivolcs raises Alert Level 1 over Mt. Pinatubo
File photo of Mount Pinatubo's crater lake
Wikimedia Commons/ChrisTomnong

Phivolcs raises Alert Level 1 over Mt. Pinatubo

(Philstar.com) - March 4, 2021 - 9:31am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology hoisted Alert Level 1 over Mount Pinatubo due to persistent seismic activity, indicating that there is “low-level unrest” at the volcano.

Phivolcs said the unrest may be related to tectonic processes beneath the volcano and that no imminent eruption is foreseen.

INTERAKSYON: What would have happened if Mount Pinatubo erupted today?

Despite this, it said that entry into the Pinatubo crater area must be conducted with extreme caution and should be avoided if possible.

State volcanologists and seismologists also called on communities and local governments near the volcano to always be prepared for quakes and volcanic hazards.

State volcanologists and seismologists said that 1,722 imperceptible earthquakes were detected beneath Pinatubo since January 20.

While there has been an increase in seismic activity at Pinatubo, Phivolcs noted that the volcano only emitted 378 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day, which is still within the background range of 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day.

Phivolcs also said that there has been slight temperature increases in gas vents, but other characteristics such as acidity remain unchanged.

Phivolcs’ alert levels range from zero to five, with the lowest indicating normal activity and the highest meaning that a hazardous eruption is ongoing. 

Pinatubo last erupted on June 15, 1991. It was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. — Xave Gregorio

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