Evacuees return home amid Bulusan’s condition

By Cet Dematera


The close to 500 persons that fled due to the June 5 and June 12 phreatic explosions of Bulusan Volcano on Monday, June 13 had already started to go back to their homes in Barangay Puting Sapa in Juban, Sorsogon in the middle of sustained abnormal condition.


Juban Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMO) spokesperson Arian Aguallo said that the 148 families, or 489 persons had already started to decamp from the evacuation centers in Barangays Tughan and North Poblacion after four days of refuge from the ash-laden phreatic explosions in the past weeks.


Aguallo said they decided to send home already the evacuees after the abnormal signs of Bulusan Volcano were observed to be gradually subsiding and clearing operations in their village were already carried out.


“We know that Bulusan remains abnormal that’s why we advise them to be very vigilant so that they could immediately evacuate should the volcano’s condition escalate again,” Aguallo told Bicol Mail.


Aguallo admitted that some of the evacuees appeared still hesitant to go home, as they feared Bulusan’s abnormal condition would suddenly worsen again.


But he said clearing operations in Puting Sapa, one of the worst-hit villages in Juban town, were already completed.


“The place is already cleared of ash and other debris so it is safe to go back there already,” Aguallo added.


He said that the evacuees were residing within the five- to six-kilometer distance from the vents of Bulusan.


“That’s why these residents are among those most affected every time Bulusan turns abnormal. So we advise them to be always vigilant,” Aguallo said.


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that volcanic earthquakes dropped on June 13 to 69 from 106 the other day.


But Phivolcs said that though the volcanic quakes had dropped, the volcanic tremors slightly rise to 56 and lasted for 19 minutes compared to the previous 48 and lasted for 20 minutes.


Phivolcs said that alert level one remains in effect as Bulusan volcano is still in a state of hydrothermal unrest.


Phivolcs explained that the fluctuating abnormal signs mean that Bulusan remains restive and in the state of massive degassing and hydrothermal unrest.


The agency also warned of increased possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions that can occur without warning.