Phivolcs reports phreatic eruption at Bulusan Volcano

MANILA, Philippines – A phreatic eruption occurred at the Bulusan Volcano summit in Sorsogon province, the Philippine Institute on Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

Phivolcs reports phreatic eruption at Bulusan Volcano
Netizen Ruben Basilio captured the reported phreatic eruption at Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon on Sunday, June 5 (left photo). File photo of Mount Bulusan (right) courtesy of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Bicol

The phreatic eruption at 10:37 am today lasted approximately 17 minutes and was recorded by seismic and infrasound monitoring by the Bulusan Volcano Network (BVN).

Phivolcs said the event was poorly visible through cloud cover over the edifice although a steam-rich grey plume at least 1 kilometer tall was observed from Juban, Sorsogon and was subsequently observed to drift west.

Ashfall has been reported in Juban and Casiguran, Sorsogon.

Prior to the eruption, the BVN recorded 77 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24-hour observation period.

Ground deformation data from continuous GPS monitoring indicate that the Bulusan edifice has been inflated since February 2021, while electronic tilt monitoring recorded a sudden but isolated inflation of the southeast lower slopes only since April 2022. These parameters indicate that volcanic processes are underway beneath the edifice that are likely caused by shallow hydrothermal activity.

Alert Level 1 status is now raised over Bulusan Volcano, which means that it is currently in an abnormal condition.

Local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) must be strictly prohibited and that vigilance in the 2-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeast sector must be exercised due to the increased possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions.

Phivolcs also warned civil aviation authorities to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/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 should phreatic eruption occur.

DOST-PHIVOLCS said they are closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s condition and any new development will be communicated to all concerned stakeholders.

— The Summit Express

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