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Thursday, May 23, 2019

‘Explosion-type’ earthquakes monitored after Kanlaon eruption

A DAY after Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island Region erupted Saturday morning, seismic activities were monitored by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

The Canlaon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) reported that consecutive “explosion-type” earthquakes that lasted for 30, 42, and 29 seconds were detected by the seismic monitoring network.

A total of eight volcanic earthquakes, including the explosion-type earthquakes, were recorded in the past 24 hours as of Sunday.

Jay Jamello, science research specialist of Phivolcs in Negros Occidental, said the public should not be alarmed about the volcanic quakes as this was caused by the eruption.

“Every time there was pressure, seismic activities were recorded,” he said, adding that after the eruption, there was a slight increase of seismic activities and that moderate steaming of plumes was seen from the summit.

He added that “slight force of pressure” was observed from the steam that is white in color, meaning it doesn’t contain “materials or ash.”

The Saturday event was Mount Kanlaon’s second eruption this year.

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

Since November last year, Mount Kanlaon has 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.

After the eruption Saturday, light ashfall was monitored on the western slopes of the volcano, Jamello said.

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.

Based on visual observation, the series of steam and ash eruptions from the crater of Mount Kanlaon started 9:19 a.m. and lasted for 27 minutes.

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 CDRRMO said.

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

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