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Claim: Rudy Baldwin, a self-proclaimed psychic, claimed that a volcano in Bukidnon is set to erupt.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made by a popular Filipino figure with 4.1 million followers. As of writing, the Facebook post has 19,000 reactions, 1,700 comments, and 3,700 shares.
The post dated May 23 read: “NAKIKITA KO SA VISION KO ANG PAG ERUPTION NG BULKAN SA BUKIDNON. HUWAG NYO PO ITO KATAKUTAN DAPAT AY PAGHANDAAN NYO ANG PWEDENG MANGYARI.”
(I see in my vision the eruption of a volcano in Bukidnon. Do not fear this; prepare for what is to come.)
No warnings from officials: As of June 17, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has not posted any warnings or alerts on its volcano bulletin board about an imminent volcanic eruption in Bukidnon.
Volcanic eruption forecasting: Eruptions can only be forecasted by volcanologists by looking at the extensive historical data on a particular volcano, observable changes in its behavior, and continuous monitoring with proper equipment.
Such was the case in May 1991, when scientists were able to successfully predict Mount Pinatubo’s eruption using a combination of empirical evidence (such as the volcano’s release of steam and sulfur dioxide) and data provided by seismometers installed in the area. This timely and accurate prediction allowed local authorities to conduct mass evacuations, thus saving tens of thousands of lives.
Unspecific predictions: Rudy Baldwin’s claim that a volcano will erupt in Bukidnon cannot be classified as a proper prediction as it lacks relevant, specific details such as time and location. It also did not specify which volcano was set to erupt.
History of falsehoods: Predictions about natural disasters that do not come from official and scientific sources are often unsubstantiated and have long been debunked by Rappler.
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– Miguel Batallones/Rappler.com
Miguel Batallones is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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