By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has not detected changes in the condition of Mt. Pinatubo which may indicate sign of volcanic unrest following the occurrence of a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Luzon last Monday.
Phivolcs has received reports from concerned citizens that there was unusual smoke emission coming from Mt. Pinatubo, as well as poor to zero visibilities due to alleged ashfall in nearby vicinities after the strong earthquake.
Those who observed these, thought that the strong earthquake may be associated with Mt. Pinatubo’s abnormal activity.
Based on the Pinatubo Volcano Seismic Monitoring Network, Phivolcs has not detected changes in the condition of the volcano that may indicate impending volcanic unrest.
“Our colleagues who felt the earthquake while doing fieldwork in the crater at Mt. Pinatubo did not observe unusual smoke emission coming from the volcano before, during, and after the earthquake,” Phivolcs said.
“The smoke and ash observed are dust that came from rockslides due to strong ground shaking generated by the 6.1-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks,” it added.
This was also verified by the Phivolcs’ quick response team that went to Sitio Pasbul, Brgy. Camias in Porac, Pampanga on Wednesday.
Although the nearest active volcano in Central Luzon is the Mt. Pinatubo, the 6.1-magnitude earthquake was determined to be tectonic in origin, Phivolcs reiterated.
As part of Phivolcs’ monitoring procedures for moderate to large earthquakes occurring near active volcanoes, the agency said it will continue to closely monitor earthquake events in relation to any activity that may be associated to Mt. Pinatubo.