Mt. Bulusan exhibits minor eruption

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LEGAZPI CITY: The restive Bulusan volcano exhibited a minor phreatic eruption on Thursday after a minor eruption on Tuesday.

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Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist in Bicol, said the volcano generated a minor eruption that lasted for about 15 minutes based on the seismic recording that was registered as short harmonic tremor.

The eruption could not be observed visually because of thick clouds covering the summit. The ashfall was reported in some areas in Gubat town and rumbling sounds were heard at Barangay San Roque in Bulusan.

At least 40 volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours were recorded based on Bulusan’s seismic monitoring network. Moderate emission of white steam plumes that crept downslope from the southeast vents was observed.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 388 tons on Wednesday. The Bulusan volcano indicated slight inflationary changes relative to May 2016 recordings.

Similarly, ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements as of September 30, 2016 showed inflationary trends since July 2016.

Alert Level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect over Mt. Bulusan indicating that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to more steam-driven eruptions.

Local government units and the public are reminded of the prohibited four-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) because of the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven eruptions.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people or 22,560 families in three towns of Albay within the foot of another restive Mayon volcano are affected by water shortage despite continuous rainfall here.

The water shortage and drying up of wells in Albay experienced during the last few months here are associated with climate change and abnormal condition of Mayon.

Arnel Garcia, Social Welfare and Development regional director in Bicol, said 108,358 people are affected by the water shortage.

In Malilipot town, at least 8,631 families or 40,068 people are waterless; 5,129 families or 44,290 residents in Santo Domingo town, and in Tiwi town are 8,800 families or 44,000 individuals.

Albay provincial health officer Nataniel Rempillo reported that they have deployed water and sanitation facilities to affected municipalities and the local government of Tabaco City has been providing non-potable water to the town of Tiwi.

RHAYDZ B. BARCIA

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