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Bulusan Volcano threat spurs urgent measures


LEGAZPI CITY --- In a gripping response to heightened volcanic unrest, the Sorsogon provincial government invoked a shutdown of activities within a 5-6 kilometer danger zone, extending two kilometers from Bulusan Volcano.

The move, triggered by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (Phivolcs) raising of the alert level to Level 1, is a precautionary step following an uptick in volcanic activity.

Expressing grave concern, Salvador Mendoza, the Sorsogon information office chief, emphasized the imperative for public safety, stressing strict enforcement of entry bans into the permanent and extended danger zones. The looming threats of ash fall and the looming specter of lahar flow during heavy rains urged immediate preparation.

Mendoza revealed the government’s plan, in coordination with concerned agencies, to preposition 1,000 family food packs for each affected municipality, primarily impacting regions within the southwest sector of Bulusan Volcano.

Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon province (PNA file photo courtesy of Nonie Enolva)

He highlighted the imminent evacuation of 70 households in Barangay San Roque, Bulusan town, in the event of an escalation in alert level.

Phivolcs’ alarming report of five volcanic earthquakes, significant sulfur dioxide emissions, and a 200-meter plume within 24 hours added weight to the severity of the situation.

With Alert Level 1 in force, caution was urged for those residing in vulnerable areas, particularly along river channels and valleys, as the threat of sediment-laden stream flows and lahars loomed large during heavy rainfall or a potential phreatic eruption.

The gravity of the situation extended even to aviation authorities, who received warnings to steer clear of the volcano’s summit due to the potential hazards of ash in case of a sudden phreatic eruption, underscoring the imminent danger posed by the escalating volcanic unrest. (PNA)


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