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Kanlaon remains restive – Phivolcs

MANILA, Philippines — At least six volcanic earthquakes, 3,304 tons of sulfur dioxide gas emission and degassing of 300 meters above the summit have been recorded on Kanlaon Volcano in Negros in the past 24 hours, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Phivolcs said these volcanic activities indicate that Kanlaon remains active and more eruptions could occur any time.

Mari-Andylene Quintia, resident volcanologist on Mt. Kanlaon, said the sulfur dioxide gas emission was 10 times higher than the volcano’s baseline.

“If we based the sulfur dioxide emission of the volcano, its level is high as our baseline was only 300 tons per day. This is 10-fold higher than the baseline, although the number of volcanic earthquakes had decreased,” Quintia said, noting that the volcano’s seismic activity has stabilized.

“But we are not discounting the possibility (of an increase in Kanlaon activity) as its sulfur dioxide emission is still irregular,” she said.

Quintia said the high level of degassing indicated that the volcano remains restive.

“Based on our monitoring, Alert Level 2 remains in effect over Kanlaon Volcano as its activity is sustained,” she said.

On Saturday, Phivolcs reported an elevated volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emission from the summit crater of Kanlaon, which averaged 4,397 tons a day.

The emission was the highest this year and the second highest land-based measurement for Kanlaon, according to state volcanologists.

Kanlaon erupted on June 3, causing ashfall and lahar flow in nearby communities due to rains brought by the southwest monsoon.

Phivolcs director Teresito Bacolcol said the agency needed to closely observe Kanlaon’s activity before it could decide whether to raise or reduce the alert level.

Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)’s rapid deployment team and water filtration truck for Kanlaon evacuees arrived yesterday in Negros Occidental.

Ashfall contaminated the water sources in some areas in the province.

The OCD team will remain in the province for two weeks to assist evacuees from La Castellana and La Carlota. The Philippine Red Cross also mobilized its water tanker for the evacuees. — Gilbert Bayoran, Pia