Mt. Bulusan spews another phreatic blow

SORSOGON CITY – Mount Bulusan located in Sorsogon province spewed out another phreatic eruption which lasted for 18 minutes at 3:37 a.m. on Sunday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Bulusan generated 136 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours. It reminded local government units and the residents that “entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) must be strictly prohibited and that vigilance in the 2-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeast sector must be exercised due to the increased possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions.”

Civil aviation authorities for their part advised pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous.

People living in area southeast, southwest, and northwest of Mt. Bulusan have likewise been advised “to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall should a phreatic eruption occur.”

Alert Level 1 status remains over Mount Bulusan. Disaster risk reduction management offices of affected municipalities and the province, “have been activated to evacuate vulnerable people, check for respiratory concerns, and immediately start clean-up with elements of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine National Police and via our food-for-work program,” Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero in his Facebook page said.

Escudero shared that five more barangays in the towns of Juban and Casiguran have and Juban also experienced ashfall from Bulusan’s phreatic eruption, while Barangays Bacolod and Rangas, both in Juban, suffered from heavy ashfall.

The Governor said he has ordered the setting up of checkpoints to warn motorists of nearly zero visibility due to the ash along Maharlika Highway. Clean-up is ongoing, he also assured.

Pilar town Mayor Carolyn Sy-Reyes, meanwhile, has asked here constituents to wear masks at all times since ash fall has reached some areas of their municipality.