Thursday, October 6, 2016

Phivolcs checks vent on Mt. Bulusan emitting large volume of gas, steam

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct.5 (PNA)—The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (RDRRMO) on Wednesday said scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) are checking a vent on the slopes of Mount Bulusan in Barangay (village) Mapaso in Irosin, Sorsogon which is said to have emitted a large amount of ash laden steam and gas.

Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist, said volcanologists would immediately conduct an aerial survey to validate a report from the Irosin DRRMO that residents have been complaining of foul smell due to sulfur dioxide gas emissions at the volcano’s vent.

Laguerta said should the weather be good, volcanologists, health and environment officials would document if the reports were true.

“The documentation would determine and measure how much volume of steam and gas were emitted and if there were traces of ash in Barangay Mapaso,” he said.

The vent is located 1,200 meters at the slopes on the southeast flank of Mount Bulusan, some five kilometers away from Irosin town proper.

Jessar Adornado, Office of Civil Defense operation chief, quoting reports from the Irosin DRRMO said residents had complained of respiratory illness due to the foul smell.

A Phivolcs bulletin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday showed Bulusan volcano recorded 23 volcanic earthquakes in the the past 24 hours.

It said moderate emission of white steam plumes that crept downslope from the southeast vents was observed. Sulfur dioxide emission was measured at an average of 33 tonnes per day on September 22, 2016.

Alert Level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect over the volcano. The public is warned not to venture inside the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone due to sudden and hazardous steam driven or phreatic eruptions.

Phivolcs raised the alert to level 1 on Sept. 16 after an ash explosion that could lead to a phreatic eruption. (PNA) FPV/GVR/MSA/CBD