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Bulusan earthquakes cause PHIVOLCS to raise Alert Level 1 over volcano

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised the alert level in Bulusan Volcano.

PHIVOLCS on Monday raised the alert level in Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon from 0 (normal) to 1 (abnormal) due to increased seismic activity.

In its 4 p.m. bulletin, PHIVOLCS said the volcano’s monitoring network has recorded a total of 53 volcanic earthquakes since July 3.

Of the 53 quakes, PHIVOLCS said 43 were “low frequency events that are associated with weak and shallow hydrothermal or magmatic gas activity within the edifice.”

“The increased seismicity could be succeeded by steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit crater or from flank vents on the upper to middle slopes, despite the absence of visible degassing or steaming from the active vent this year,” it added.

Meanwhile, PHIVOLCS said ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements also indicate a short-term inflation of the edifice since late February this year.

“These parameters indicate that volcanic processes are underway beneath the edifice that may be caused by deep-seated degassing or hydrothermal activity or magmatic intrusion,” the agency explained.

Alert Level 1 means the volcano is at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.

Due to this, PHIVOLCS warned local government units and the public that entry into the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited and that vigilance in the Extended Danger Zone must be observed due to the increased possibilities of sudden hazardous phreatic eruptions.

Pilots are also advised against flying close to the volcano's summit as doing so could be hazardous.

Moreover, people living within the valleys and along river or stream channels, especially on the southeast, 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, PHIVOLCS added.




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