- The Bulusan volcano in the Philippines erupted on Sunday.
- The event alarmed local residents and caused evacuations.
- A dense cloud of ash and steam emanated from the volcano.
The Bulusan volcano, southeast of the Philippine capital, erupted on Sunday expelling a cloud of ash and steam that reached about a kilometer (half a mile) high in a brief steam explosion, scattering ash over neighboring towns and alarming residents, according to authorities quoted by the AP.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level for Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province after the 17-minute episode but added there were no signs of an imminent major eruption. Bulusan, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, has shown activity in recent years, with intermittent steam clouds and steam releases, the AP said.
Bulusan volcano erupts, expelling a cloud of ash and steam
“Right now it is in an anomalous state,” the Bulusan volcanology institute said. The agency asked people to stay away from the permanent danger zone four kilometers (2.4 miles) around the volcano, according to the AP.
The ash reached at least seven villages on the slopes of the Bulusan in and around the coastal municipality of Juban, where people were asked to stay indoors and wear masks. Drivers were warned to be careful on streets covered in mud and ash.
Residents are asked to remain alert
Authorities said they were evaluating whether to evacuate residents, especially pregnant women, the elderly and children, from the towns affected by the ash. Outside the permanent danger zone, the volcanology institute warned residents on the volcano’s vulnerable southeastern slope to be alert “because of the increasing chances of sudden and dangerous phreatic eruptions.”
Those living in valleys, as well as near rivers and streams, were also asked to be on the lookout for volcanic flows during the rainy season. Aircraft were advised not to fly near the Sorsogon volcano, about 600 kilometers (373 miles) southeast of Manila, the AP report said.
The Ring of Fire
The Philippine archipelago, which has some two dozen active volcanoes, is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common, AP also recalled in its report published on the morning of Sunday, June 5.
The Star reported that, after the explosion of the Bulusan volcano, the authorities did order the evacuation of the towns covered in ash while warning of possible new eruptions. “There was a phreatic eruption of the Bulusan volcano, which means that the explosion was caused by the boiling water under the crater,” the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Renato Solidum, told local DZBB radio.
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