Mt Bulusan spews ash column 2.5 kilometers high

MANILA, Philippines – Mt Bulusan, a restive volcano in Sorsogon province, again spewed ash on Sunday, October 23.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said a phreatic eruption occurred 3:31 pm, producing an ash column 2.5 kilometers high.

"The event was recorded as an explosion-type earthquake and lasted for approximately 15 minutes based on the seismic record," said Phivolcs.

"The eruption originated from the summit crater, while a smaller eruption also transpired at the southeast vent."

Phivolcs also said it recorded a total of 24 volcanic earthquakes since 5 am on Sunday.

"This morning, prior to the eruption, a noticeable increase in sulfur dioxide emission to 578 tons/day was measured," it added. "Inflation was also recorded by continuous GPS measurements as of 30 September 2016, indicating pressurization beneath the volcano edifice."

Alert Level 1 remains in effect for Mt Bulusan, meaning there could still be more phreatic or steam-driven eruptions.

Phivolcs warned that entering the 4-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano continues to be strictly prohibited.

Pilots are also advised not to fly close to Mt Bulusan's summit "as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft."

The volcano's last magmatic eruption took place more than 40 years ago. (READ: FAST FACTS: Mt Bulusan, the PH's 4th most active volcano– Rappler.com