Alert Level 1 raised over Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021   •   369

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised alert status from zero to 1 over Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon after recording more than 100 volcanic earthquakes in the past four days.

Alert Level 1 means that the volcano is currently in an “abnormal condition.”

According to the agency, the volcano has been exhibiting increased unrest after a total of 124 volcanic tremors recorded since Saturday (May 8) as well as sustained inflation based on ground deformation measurements.

“These parameters indicate that volcanic processes are underway beneath the edifice that are likely caused by shallow hydrothermal activity,” the agency said in an advisory posted on its website.

Phivolcs reminded local government units and the public that entry into the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone must be strictly prohibited.

Also, vigilance in the two-kilometer extended danger zone on the southeast sector must be exercised due to the increased possibility of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions.

“People living within the 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,” the agency warned.

Phivolcs to launch mobile app for volcano information

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will launch a mobile app on Monday (June 21) to make the current status of volcanoes easily available to the public.

On Thursday (June 17), Phivolcs announced that the “VolcanoPH Info” app will be available on Android devices. Through the app, the public can access the latest volcano bulletins and advisories.

The app will help users understand the current volcano status, and more importantly, identify the necessary preparedness and response actions for their safety.

“We aim to provide the users with accessible and easy-to-read information,” said DOST Undersecretary and Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge Renato Solidum Jr.

Once a user is able to access the app, he or she can select from the list of volcanoes with alert levels on the homepage.

The selection will provide the user with a summary of the 24-hour observation period containing the alert level, monitoring parameters, and recommendations in the Filipino language.

Future developments of the app include the English language setting and iOS version. AAC

Taal recorded 221 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours — Phivolcs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday (June 15) recorded a total of 221 volcanic earthquakes in Taal Volcano in the past 24 hours.

According to their latest bulletin, Phivolcs recorded 29 low-frequency tremors out of the 221, while 192 volcanic tremors occurred with durations from one to 135 minutes.

There was also an upwelling of hot volcanic fluids which resulted in plumes reaching 1,500 meters tall, drifting southwest.

As of June 14, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions averaged 5,837 tonnes per day.

The agency previously warned residents near Taal Volcano, particularly in Agoncillo, Batangas, to wear face masks and to stay hydrated to prevent inhaling sulfur oxide.

Meanwhile, Phivolcs stated that due to the ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, Taal Volcano Island has begun deflating in April 2021.

“The Taal region continues to undergo very slow extension since 2020. These parameters indicate overall that magmatic unrest continues to occur at shallow depths beneath the edifice,” the bulletin stated.

Alert Level 2 is still raised in the region where Phivolcs strongly recommends that entry must be strictly prohibited into Taal Volcano Island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone, or PDZ, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, and occupancy and boating on Taal Lake. AAC

Phivolcs advises Taal residents to wear face masks vs sulfur dioxide

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) advised residents in the immediate vicinity of Taal Volcano, especially those living in Agoncillo, Batangas to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of sulfur dioxide (SO2) being emitted by the volcano.

Plant life around the vicinity has also dried up due to the sulfur dioxide emission. Residents were also advised to stay hydrated to prevent throat irritation triggered by the volcanic gas. 

In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs reported sulfur dioxide emission at the volcano averaged 4,443 tonnes on Sunday (June 13) which drifted northwest and northeast.

“Activity at the main crater was dominated by upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in its lake which generated plumes 1000 meters tall that drifted to the northwest and northeast,” Phivolcs said.

The agency also reported that magmatic unrest continues to occur at shallow depths beneath the volcano.

Alert level 2 is still raised as Phivolcs reminds the public that sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within and around Taal.

Phivolcs also strongly recommends that entry into Taal Volcano Island, including the Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), must be strictly prohibited. AAC

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