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MANILA, Philippines – Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Island was raised from Alert Level 0 to Alert Level 1 on Wednesday, March 11.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced in a bulletin at 10 am on Wednesday that Alert Level 1 means Kanlaon is now “at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.”
Why was the alert level raised? Phivolcs observed an increasing number of volcanic earthquakes and swelling of the volcano.
Phivolcs said a total of 80 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded by Kanlaon’s seismic monitoring network since Monday, March 9.
These were “dominated by 77 low-frequency events that are associated with magmatic fluids beneath the edifice.”
Phivolcs also warned that the growing number of earthquakes “could be succeeded by steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit crater.”
Swelling or ground deformation has been observed at Kanlaon as well, particularly:
- long-term slow inflation of the edifice since 2017
- slow inflation of the lower slopes since May 2019
- pronounced inflation of the upper slopes in the end of January 2020
“These parameters indicate that volcanic processes are underway deep beneath the edifice that may be caused by deep-seated degassing or hydrothermal activity or magmatic intrusion,” said Phivolcs.
What should people do? State volcanologists said local government units and the public are “strongly reminded” that entry into the 4-kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone around Kanlaon must be prohibited.
Pilots should also avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit.
These are to protect lives and property from the possibility of sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruptions, which could be hazardous. – Rappler.com