DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Renato Solidum for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change said the current seismic activities in Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island are “way deep below.”
He was in Bacolod City Wednesday, April 11, to attend the Regional Scientific Meeting in the Visayas held at L’Fisher Hotel.
Mount Kanlaon remained on Alert Level 2, meaning it is undergoing a moderate level of unrest.
Solidum said that based on their monitoring, sometimes the sulfur dioxide increases just above the normal level. “But now, what we are seeing, although there is a low level of seismic activity, it is just normal for a volcano...we think there is pressure below but it is still deep.”
“When it comes to the eruption, we need to understand that there are various types of eruption,” he said.
If there is new magma coming from below and it will come out, that is a magmatic eruption while phreatic eruption means the groundwater is heated by either magma or gas coming up or the water from the rain will go down through the slopes of the volcano or the crater which would encounter hot rocks, he explained.
He said it is dangerous for the people to be very close to the crater of the volcano. “We always remind the public about the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone.”
He said the people should be prepared. “It will be good if it will not lead to an eruption and we don’t see it right now. But the condition might change sometime in the future but the people should not worry. They need to prepare. The government needs to prepare in advance.”
“If ever there is an eruption, the potential harsh that will come from the slopes of the volcano covered by eruption deposits would also reach areas or communities further down away from the volcano,” he added.
He also said the magma is below the surface. “If it moves up, it will trigger a lot of earthquakes and it also would probably enhance degassing of the magma. And this might affect surface like vegetation.”
This will be detected by instruments on the slopes of the volcano, he said.
“We have a real-time monitoring of Mount Kanlaon. We have earthquake sensors. We have GPS sensors and we also gas measuring instruments,” he stressed.