Bulusan Volcano

Phivolcs warns of increased activity at Bulusan Volcano

Acor Arceo
Phivolcs warns of increased activity at Bulusan Volcano

BULUSAN VOLCANO. The volcano in the province of Sorsogon.

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Since 'hydrothermal processes are underway' beneath Bulusan Volcano, the chances of phreatic or steam-driven eruptions are higher, warns Phivolcs on Friday, October 7

MANILA, Philippines – State volcanologists warned on Friday afternoon, October 7, that they have seen increased activity at Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) observed the following:

  • Volcanic earthquakes: 29 recorded since 5 am, Thursday, October 6
  • Ground deformation: “short-term inflation” or swelling of the volcano’s southern edifice since April
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission: 297 tons per day on September 29
  • White steam-laden plumes: weak to moderate emission at the crater and very weak emission at the northwest vents

“The increased seismic activity and short-term ground deformation are likely caused by shallow hydrothermal processes beneath the edifice,” Phivolcs said.

“Since hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano, there are increased chances of steam-driven or phreatic eruptions from its active vents.”

Bulusan has been under Alert Level 0, the lowest level, since August 21. But Phivolcs said the volcano may be raised back to Alert Level 1 if the current activity persists.

Alert Level 1 was declared last June 5 due to a phreatic or steam-driven eruption. Another phreatic eruption occurred on June 12. Both incidents caused ashfall in parts of Sorsogon.

Phivolcs on Friday reminded the public not to enter the 4-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone around Bulusan Volcano.

It also advised “people living within valleys and along river or stream channels” to watch out for lahar during heavy rain.

Ash from any phreatic eruption would be hazardous to aircraft, too.

Also on Friday, Phivolcs raised Mayon Volcano in Albay to Alert Level 2 due to “increasing unrest.” – Rappler.com

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.