Phivolcs warns of possible steam-driven eruption amid Kanlaon, Bulusan unrest

Published July 7, 2022, 2:39 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Active volcanoes Bulusan and Kanlaon are being monitored by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as both of the volcanoes continue to show signs of unrest.

(Phivolcs / Manila Bulletin)

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge Dr. Renato Solidum, on Thursday, July 7, warned of a possible steam-driven eruption in Kanlaon Volcano, adding that the increase in the volcano’s activities is not related to the rise of magma.

This, according to Solidum, is why they are not expecting an “explosive” eruption in Kanlaon.

“Kung steam o usok lang ang sasabog ang iitsa lang nito ay recycled materials mula sa crater at kailangan lang na huwag pumasok sa loob ng 4-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) ang ating mga kababayan para makaiwas sila sa peligro (If it is only a steam or smoke-driven eruption, it will only spew recycled materials from the crater. The public should not enter the 4-kilometer PDZ to avoid any danger),” said Solidum in a “Laging Handa” public briefing.

The statement came after Phivolcs issued an advisory on Sunday, July 3, saying that an increase in Kanlaon’s volcanic activity was observed.

Meanwhile, Bulusan Volcano, located in the province of Sorsogon, is likewise showing signs of unrest. Similar to the Kanlaon Volcano, Solidum said that a steam-driven eruption may also occur in Bulusan.

Vigilance instead of fear

While the possibility of a steam-driven eruption lingers, Solidum advised the public not to be frightened and alarmed, but to be vigilant instead.

“Importante na maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan na distansya ang kailangan kapag nagkaroon ng aktibidad ang bulkan (It is important for our countrymen to understand that distance is needed when the volcano is showing signs of activity),” he added.

Both of the volcanoes are under the Alert Level 1 status. Under this alert level, volcanic earthquakes and steam-driven eruptions may occur.