Bulusan volcano erupts

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LEGAZPI CITY: Mount Bulusan in the province of Sorsogon erupted on Friday morning producing a steam and ash explosion that lasted five minutes followed by 40 volcanic quakes, state seismologists said.

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While the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) did not raise the alert level at the volcano, it reminded the public against venturing into its 4 kilometer permanent danger zone because of the the possibility of a sudden explosion.

Ed Laguerta, the volcano’s resident volcanologist, told The Manila Times the ash explosion drifted over the areas of Puting Sapa, Sangayon in Juban town, and in Cogon, Gulang-Gulang and Tinampo villages of Irosin town.

“This is just a minor explosion which coincided with Labor Day celebration. We’re closely monitoring the activity if it will escalate in the coming days,” he said.

At around 10:30 am, when the crater became visible, strong to moderate and dirty white steam was observed

State seismologists said Mount Bulusan, one of the most active volcanoes in the country, exploded at 8:09 a.m.

Bulisan has erupted 15 times since 1885 and is considered as the 4th most active volcano in the Philippines after Mayon, Taal, and Kanlaon. Bulusan last erupted in 2011.

Five volcanic earthquakes were detected in the past week by the Bulusan seismic network. After the steam and ash explosion on Friday, the network has recorded approximately 40 volcanic earthquakes.

Phivolcs officials also warned the people living within valleys and along river, stream channels should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has advised aircraft pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano.

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