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article imagePhilippines monitors two active volcanoes

By Lucky Malicay     Mar 31, 2016 in Environment
Cebu City - Bracing for possible major eruptions, authorities in the Philippines are monitoring two of the most active volcanoes in the country after they showed signs of abnormal behavior.
In its advisory issued early Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it recorded at least four minor earthquakes around Mount Kanlaon.
“Ongoing tremor is accompanied by observed weak to moderate steaming at the active vent, producing a 700m-high steam and ash plume that drifted south-southwest,” Phivolcs said.
“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.”
Since Wednesday, authorities have imposed a travel ban near Kanlaon, a tourist attraction in the central province of Negros Oriental, after it erupted twice Tuesday night.
“We are imposing travel restriction from within the four-kilometer radius of Mount Kanlaon, meaning that travel within the four-kilometer radius is now prohibited,” Senior Superintendent Harris Fama, director of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office, told The Manila Times.
Kanlaon’s eruptions triggered alerts in the neighboring provinces. In the province of Cebu, officials in six towns and one city are readying measures in case a major eruption occurs.
The latest development came three months after Kanlaon’s major eruption on December 27, 2015.
On the main island of Luzon, Phivolcs recorded at least two volcanic earthquakes around Mount Bulusan the past 24 hours, prompting it to retain its Alert Level 1 status. Bulusan is located on the island’s southern province of Sorsogon.
The agency prohibited nearby residents and tourists from venturing into four-kilometer radius of the volcano “due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.”
It also advised aviation authorities to warn pilots not to fly near Bulusan’s summit to avoid ash from any sudden eruption.
“Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels especially on the southwest and northwest sector of the edifice should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall. Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s condition and any new development will be relayed to all concerned,” Phivolcs said.
Mount Bulusan, situated just 70 kilometers southeast of the world-famous Mayon Volcano, last erupted on June 19, 2015.
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