Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon province spewed ashes anew Tuesday morning producing a 1-kilometer high grayish steam and ash plume which drifted towards the west-southwest.
The volcano, which has similar unrest just more than a month ago, generated two steam-driven explosions at 11:02 am and 11:20 am yesterday, the first event lasted for approximately 10 minutes
The ash column, according to accounts of local residents of Barangay Cogon in Irosin town, was accompanied by rumbling sound. The second event was smaller and lasted for about 1 minute based on seismic record.
“We have immediately deployed personnel in the area to conduct initial assessment of the possible areas most likely to be affected by the ashes once they dropped upon reaching its peak,” said Engr. Raden D. Dimaano, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of Sorsogon.
Mayor Antonio H. Alindogan immediately activated the Municipal DRRM Council thru SMS and verbal communication and declared suspension of classes in affected barangays and designated evacuation centers.
He likewise coordinated with the Philippine Army to be on standby for transportation, search and rescue and retrieval operation; the Philippine National Police for transportation, peace and order, traffic control; the Bureau of Fire Protection for possible fire incidence and washing-out of ashes in affected areas; the Department of Education to ready the evacuation centers; and with the Department of Interior and Local Government for on-time reports and accurate instructions to convene the DRMM Council.
According to Juban Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Lizpeth H. Nicolas said they conducted inventory of stockpiled goods for possible distribution to evacuees while Juban Quick Emergency Response Team (JQERT) assisted during site visit in affected barangays in the distribution of face masks to residents and advised community to stay indoor especially children, seniors, and person with illness.
“We have also alerted the residents of Brgy. Putting Sapa and Añog and were made ready for anytime possibility of evacuation,” said Nicolas.
In Juban, Brgy. Puting Sapa with 147 households was heavily affected by ashfalls. Other areas affected are Barangays Añog with 115 households, Bacolod with 303, Catanusan with 192, and Buraburan with 389 households.
Juban MDRRMC conducts continuous site inspection to affected barangays.
Meanwhile, DepEd Sorsogon initially reported that suspension of classes were put in effect in all levels, private and public, in Juban and Irosin towns in Sorsogon due to Mt. Bulusan’s restiveness.
Residents in Putting Sapa were already advised to evacuate in Juban Central School least the situation gets worst.
DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Danilo E. Despi along with other DepEd personnel right away conducted an on-site inspection and monitoring.
Alert Level 1 (abnormal) status is maintained over Bulusan Volcano. This indicates that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to more steam-driven eruptions.
Phivolcs in its advisory reminded the local government units and the public that entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.
“Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejection from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft,” said Phivolcs.
Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels are also advised to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall.
DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s activity and made assurance that any new development will be relayed to all concerned.