Mount Kanlaon erupts anew

NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mount Kanlaon in the province of Negros Oriental erupted Tuesday evening, March 29, barely 3 months since its last eruption.

The volcano, one of the 21 active ones in the country, erupted with lava flow at 6:30 pm, according to Superintendent Frankie Lugo, Canlaon City police chief.

But the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said "no lava flow effused from the summit crater."

Instead, the agency said: "We do have reports that the eruption ejected hot rocks that may have set a bush fire on the Masulog side of Canlaon City. These reports have yet to be confirmed."

The volcano spewed ash to as high as 4,921 feet (1,500 meters), Phivolcs said.

Kanlaon last erupted on December 27, 2015, sending ash to some parts of the neighboring province of Negros Occidental.

At the time, Zeaphard Caelian, chief of the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, urged the public to wear masks and to stay at home. 

Just last Friday, March 25, a massive fire broke out at Mount Kanlaon. Al Orolfo, regional director of Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the fire affected about 120 hectares of grass land. 

It was only a grass fire and it didn’t reach the forest, he said, adding that no houses were hit by the fire.

Orolfo said that the fire was put under control Sunday afternoon, March 27.

He said initial reports indicate the fire might have originated from a cigarette butt thrown into a grassy portion of the forest. The Bureau of Fire Protection was investigating the incident. – Rappler.com