65 quakes recorded in Bulusan volcano

Cet Dematera - The Philippine Star

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Following a surge in seismic activities in the past few days, Mt. Bulusan continued to shake yesterday, logging 65 volcanic quakes in the past 24 hours.

The figure was higher than the number of temblors recorded the other day with 48, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Phivolcs said Bulusan’s sulfur dioxide and plume emissions remained high at 448 tons yesterday, compared to 348 tons the other day.

Plume emissions rose 100 meters high from the crater on both days, state seismologists said.

The increased number of volcanic quakes and plume emissions means degassing and hydrothermal activities are ongoing inside the volcano, Phivolcs said, adding that Bulusan’s surface remains inflated.

Seismologists said sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions could occur any time under Alert level 1.

People living in valleys and river channels, especially on the southeast, southwest and northwest sectors of the edifice have been advised to watch out for sediment-laden stream flows and lahars, especially when phreatic eruptions are accompanied by light to heavy rain.

“We need to be vigilant this time because Bulusan continues to exhibit increased volcanic quakes as well as sulfur dioxide and plume emissions. These abnormal parameters mean that phreatic eruptions could happen any time,” said Gerry Malipot, duty officer at the Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring Division.

The Sorsogon disaster risk reduction management office said it is ready to evacuate people if the need arises.

It said it has prepared contingency measures should Bulusan’s condition worsen again.

Residents have been warned against entering the 400-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone as well as the two-kilometer extended danger zone on the southeast flank.

At least 500 people were taken to evacuation centers when Bulusan spewed ash on June 5 and 12.

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