THE Philippine National Police (PNP) mulled on Thursday enforcing a no-fly zone within the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone of Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Oriental after alert-level 1 status of the volcano was raised on Thursday morning.
“Alert Level 1 status remains in effect over Kanlaon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a state of unrest probably driven by hydrothermal processes that could generate more minor eruptions,” Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) director Senior Supt. Harris Fama said.
The police official added that travel restriction in Mt. Kanlaon is now fully enforced and local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the four-kilometer radius from the crater of the volcano is strictly prohibited due to further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruption.
Fama said Civil Aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as airborne ash from sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircrafts.
He added that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) are now closely monitoring Kanlaon’s activity.
The police official said that the first eruptions from the volcano were monitored on 6:20 pm Tuesday in Canlaon City, sending plumes of ash up to 1,500 meters in the sky. The second eruption was recorded at around 7:18 pm Tuesday.
“These seismic events were recorded by the Kanlaon Seismic Network as explosion type earthquake from the Southeastern side of the volcano,” Fama said.
The police official added that incandescent ejecta from the volcano have apparently caused small bushfire at the upper slope as observed from La Castellana town.
“Traces of light ash fall were also reported in Sitio Guintubdan in Barangay Aral-al, La Carlota City, Negros Oriental,” Fama said.
He added that two episodes of volcanic tremor were also recorded from 10:38 pm Tuesday up to 12:06 am and from 1:30 am up to morning of Wednesday.
“For this reason we have decided to impose travel restriction within the four-kilometer radius of the volcano,” Fama said.