• Bulusan’s beauty belies its fury

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    IROSIN, SORSOGON: Bulusan volcano is one of the active volcanoes in the country with an elevation of 1,547 meters above the sea level and is said to have been formed 40,000 years ago.

    It is one of the most beautiful sights in the Bicol region, but like Mount Mayon, it is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines.

    The last magmatic explosion of Bulusan occurred 40 years ago, according to Ed Laguerta, the resident Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) volcanologist in Bicol.

    On May 1, Bulusan erupted at 8:09 am that resulted to an ash steam plume 200 meters high. On Wednesday, the volcano erupted anew at 9:46 pm with a steam plume 250 meters high. Philvolcs does not discount new eruptions in the next few days.

    Bulusan volcano has four craters just like a caldera, and has four hot springs along its slopes.

    Unlike Mount Mayon in Albay with the world’s nearly perfect cone, Bulusan volcano has four craters: Crater No. 1 called Blackbird Lake, that is 20 meters in diameter and 15 meters deep; oval Crater No. 2 is 60 meters by 30 meters and 15 meters deep; Crater No. 3 is about 90 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep; and Crater No. 4, which is near the northeastern rim, which was created during the 1981 eruption.

    There is also a 100-meter fissure measuring 5 to 8 meters wide below Crater No. 4. Aside from four caldera formed from eruptions, Bulusan has several hot springs named San Benon, Mapaso, San Vicente and Masacrot.

    Bulusan volcano has erupted 17 times and the last major eruption place in the 17th century. It is the fourth most active volcano in the Philippines after Mayon, Taal and Kanlaon. Bulusan is a local term for “where the water flows.”

    On June 13, 2006, volcanologists said new craters were created by the mild explosions of Mount Bulusan. Aside from the new craters, two of the volcano’s four craters appeared to have merged and cracks were observed on the crater on the western side of the summit.

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