Early January of this year, the national news was filled with updates on the Taal Volcano in Batangas as it started to show signs of activity. It was seen to have spewed clouds of ash that were up to 1,000 meters high, and ashfall was observed in the province and nearby areas, including Metro Manila.
The event caused widespread panic as the alert level was already raised to number 4 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), which meant a hazardous eruption was still a possibility. Some were even forced to evacuate due to the gravity of the ash being spewed by the volcano.
Good thing, just after a few weeks, the alert level status of the Taal Volcano was slowly downgraded, and as of June 2020, it is now on Alert Level 1. The volcano’s activity, however, caused 39 deaths in total and millions worth of damages to agriculture. (Read: DA: Crops damaged by Taal activity valued at P577 million)
Fast forward to mid-June, two other volcanoes—Mayon in Albay and Kanlaon in Negros—are making headlines for signs of activity.
In an 8AM bulletin from PHIVOLCS, it was said that in the past 24 hours, 136 volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded. Four of these earthquakes were between magnitude 3.2 and 4.7, which were felt in La Carlota and Bago City in Negros Occidental, and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental at intensities II to IV.
Meanwhile, in an interview with GMA News, PHIVOLCS Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge Renato Solidum said that Kanlaon Volcano is in an “abnormal” condition and remains on Alert Level 1 status. “Meron ding bahagyang pagtaas ng sulfur dioxide, pamamaga o inflation. Abnormal ang Kanlaon Volcano,” said the undersecretary.
Solidum warns that residents should avoid the 4 KM permanent danger zone as sudden steam-driven (phreatic) eruptions are a possibility. Aircrafts are also advised not to fly close to the volcano’s peak. Kanlaon Volcano’s alert level status was raised from 0 to 1 in March of this year due to unrest.
The volcano known for its perfect cone shape is on Alert Level 2 status. This means that no one is allowed to cross the 6 KM danger zone. The volcano is showing signs of unrest and its crater is swelling and still red. “Hindi pa masyadong matingkad pero senyales na may mainit na source o magma o gas sa tuktok,” Undersecretary Solidum said in an interview.
He adds that they are continuously monitoring the volcano’s activity to see if there will be an increase in rockfall. “Binabantayan kung dadami ang bilang ng rockfall events. Ibig sabihin noon, ang magma umuusad pataas at inuusog ang pinakamataas nito,” he explains.
The Mayon Volcano has been on Alert Level 2 status since March 2018.
Para sa inyong kaalaman, ang DOST-PHIVOLCS ay nagbabantay ng mga aktibong bulkan sa bansa 24 oras/ 7 araw sa kada linggo. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon bisitahin ang https://t.co/06A2WjzSsx#ScienceForThePeople #HandaAngMayAlam #BasaRinPagMayTime #BantayBulkan #AlertLevel pic.twitter.com/79QijWbc5t
— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) June 22, 2020
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