DAVAO

Editorial: Fear of a Mt. Apo eruption

THE eruption of Taal Volcano over a week ago invoked a sense of fear among those who live in areas near active volcanoes. Being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is dotted with a variety of active volcanoes.

Among those active volcanoes in the Philippines, is Mt. Apo, an active strato volcano. With the strong earthquakes experienced last year, it is not surprising for those living near Mt. Apo to worry that the Philippine’s tallest mountain is set to erupt soon.

In a Philippine News Agency Report, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said there are no imminent signs of unrest that might lead to the volcano’s eruption.

“Right now, as we speak, no abnormal activity has been observed. We didn’t see any different volcanic activity,” Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr. said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency. He added that the eruption of Mt Apo “will be all dependent on whether there are eruptible magma detected.”

To date, there are no records of Mt. Apo ever erupting. According to Smithosonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, Mt. Apo’s “geologic history is poorly known.”

“Apo is one of several volcanoes to which the major 1641 eruption from Parker volcano was incorrectly attributed to, but no historical eruptions are known from Apo,” it added on its briefer on the volcano.

Despite rumors of Mt. Apo having volcanic activities in recent months, experts say there is nothing to worry about. While Phivolcs has been reportedly having issues with its instruments and its need for an upgrade, we trust that the agency is still capable to provide us real time and accurate information on the state of the volcanoes of the country. It would be laughable if they could not considering they are in a nation with active volcanoes.

Instead of listening to the hearsays of our neighbors and friends on social media, should we not check with our scientists instead? Unless those spreading the hearsays have sophisticated equipment to detect Mt. Apo’s volcanic activity.

In this age of social media where information can cause confusion and panic, let us rely on our experts to provide us the necessary information we need. On the other hand, these experts must also be better at communicating to the public about how things work as to prevent panic.


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