Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mt. Kanlaon ashfall affects 3 NegOcc localities

THREE localities in Negros Occidental were affected by the ashfall spewed by Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island Region after its eruption Saturday morning.

Jay Jamelo, science research specialist of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in Negros Occidental, said the light ashfall was monitored on the western slopes of the volcano.

Areas affected are Barangays Ara-al, San Miguel and Yubo in La Carlota City, Barangay Sag-ang in La Castellana, and Barangay Ilijan in Bago City.

Light sulfuric odor was also detected in Barangay Ara-al.

Jamelo urged residents of the affected localities, especially children and elderly, to wear masks or cover their nose and mouth with a wet towel, as the sulphur from the ashfall could trigger asthma and pulmonary problems.

Based on visual observation, the series of steam and ash eruptions from the crater of Mount Kanlaon, which started 9:19 a.m. and lasted for 27 minutes, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) of Canlaon City reported.

The first was a steam and ash explosion that produced a light gray to white steam plume that rose to about 1,500 meters and later lofted to about three kilometers above the summit.

This was followed by an ash eruption, which produced a thick, black, ash plume that rose to about 500 meters. The last one was characterized by emission of grayish ash plume that rose to about 500 meters, the Canlaon CDRRMO added.

After the eruption, moderate steaming of plumes was seen from the summit, and the crater was covered with clouds, Jamelo said.

Last March 29, Mount Kanlaon recorded two minor eruptions, which were accompanied by a “booming sound” and two volcanic tremors. It also ejected incandescent materials.

Mount Kanlaon remained under Alert Level 1 status, which means it is at an abnormal condition and is in period of current unrest, which is probably driven by hydrothermal process that could generate more minor eruptions, Phivolcs said.

Mount Kanlaon has been on unsettling status since November 23 last year.

Jamelo said the Phivolcs has not lifted the Alert Level 1 status yet as there are still steaming emitted from the summit.

“There are still readings from our sensors,” he added.

Phivolcs reiterated that entry into the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited due to further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruption.

Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit, Phivolcs added.
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