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PHIVOLCS: More Kanlaon eruptions possible

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An aerial view of houses along a river bank in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, that are threatened by lahar flow coming from the slopes of Kanlaon Volcano.* Capitol PIO photo

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology expects the possibility of more eruptions of Kanlaon volcano in Negros Island.

In a briefing with Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, PHIVOLCS Chief Science Research Specialist Ma. Antonia Bornas disclosed that if monitoring parameters are sustained, phreatic and short-lived explosive eruptions may subsequently occur and produce small-magnitude hazards that will endanger areas within the 4-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone.

Unrest is likely caused by the hydrothermal processes driven by magmatic degassing deep within the  volcanic edifice, Bornas said, as she stressed that Alert Level 2 will be maintained until such time that monitoring parameters significantly change.

As of 8 a.m. of June 10, PHIVOLCS logged six volcanic earthquakes, which is above the normal of zero to five volcanic quakes, and sulfur dioxide flux of 3,304 tonnes on June 9, when the normal is 300 tonnes per day, according to PHIVOLCS director Teresito Bacolcol.

“But we just have to prepare, baka mag worsen yung situation (the situation could worsen). So at least we are prepared for Alert Level 3. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst,” Bacolcol said.

Because of heavy rains over Kanlaon volcano, on Monday, water mixed with lahar was reported to have been flowing heavily at the Busay Kapid in Sitio Guintubdan, Brgy. Ara-al, La Carlota City.

Bornas reported the thickest deposits of ash fall, at about one meter, on the southwestern upper slopes of Kanlaon, based on reports of PHIVOLCS Quick Reaction Response Team.

A week after its phreatic explosion on June 3, the established trending of Kanlaon volcano remains at Alert Level 2, Bornas told Gov. Lacson.

If seismic, ground deformation, and volcanic gas parameters worsen, magmatic eruption may become likely, Bornas said, noting that the current unrest is likely being driven by stresses within the volcanic edifice produced by rising magma.

Eruptive activity could generate volcanic hazards that will endanger areas within the lava flow and 4 kilometer Permanent Danger Zones delineated by DOST-PHIVOLCS, she added.

Mayor Alme Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan reported on Monday that a total of 1,237 families, composed of 4,190 individuals in barangays of Masulog, Biak Na Bato, Mansalanao, Cabagnaan, and Sag-ang in La Castellana, who were affected by the phreatic explosions are now staying in evacuation centers.

Mangilimutan further reported that about 200 families, composed of about 800 individuals, are residing within the 4-kilometer danger zone. She, however, cannot establish yet as of this time, if those 200 families are among those now staying in evacuation centers.

Phreatic eruption will likely occur without a warning, Bacolcol said.

Lacson said that the provincial government of Negros Occidental will continue supporting those in evacuation centers, until such time PHIVOLCS says they are safe to go home.

“We should not rush things. We should not encourage evacuees to go home,” he added.

On the other hand, the Provincial Veterinary Office is slated to conduct a medical mission for the animals affected by the phreatic eruption of Kanlaon volcano, its head, Placeda Lemana disclosed yesterday.

Lemana said they are targeting to visit the barangays of Mansalanao, Biak-na-bato, Cabagna-an, and Cabacungan in La Castellana, and Brgy. Ilijan in Bago City.

She reported that those animals were reported to be suffering from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.*


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June 2024

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