BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Three local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental were affected by the ashfall following the eruption of Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island Region on Saturday morning, June 18.
Light ashfall was reported at the western slopes of the volcano, said Jay Jamelo, science research specialist of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), in Negros Occidental.
The affected localities were Barangays Ara-al, San Miguel and Yubo in La Carlota City; Barangay Sag-ang in La Castellana; and Barangay Ilijan in Bago City.
Aside from the ashfall, a light sulfuric odor was detected in Barangay Ara-al in La Carlota City.
Jamelo urged the residents of the affected LGUs to wear masks, as the sulphur from the ashfall could trigger asthma and pulmonary problems.
Based on visual observation, the series of steam and ash eruptions from the volcano's crater, which started 9:19 am, lasted for 27 minutes, said the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) of Canlaon City.
The first was a steam and ash explosion that produced a light gray to white steam plume that rose to about 1,500 meters and later lofted to about 3 kilometers above the summit.
This was followed by an ash eruption, which produced a thick, black, ash plume that rose to about 500 meters. The last one was characterized by emission of grayish ash plume that rose to about 500 meters, the report said.
On March 29, Mount Kanlaon also erupted. The two minor eruptions were accompanied by a “booming sound” and two volcanic tremors. It also ejected incandescent materials.
Mount Kanlaon remained under Alert Level 1 status, which means it is at an abnormal condition and is in period of current unrest, which probably driven by hydrothermal process that could generate more minor eruption, Phivolcs said.
The volcano has been showing signs of activity since November 23 last year.
Jamelo said the agency has not lifted the Alert Level 1 status as there are still "activities" from the summit.
Phivolcs urged the local government and the public are reminded that entry into 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited due to further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruption. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit. – Rappler.com