Mount Kanlaon spews ash

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Mount Kanlaon in Negros Island spewed ash early Sunday, December 10.

Benjamin Tanatan, a Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) science research analyst based in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, said the active volcano emitted white steam plumes, which rose up to 800 to 1,000 meters high, around 5:30 am.

This came a day after a low-energy phreatic, or steam-driven, eruption occurred in the volcano.

Bases on the bulletin released by Phivolcs on Sunday, it said that the phreatic eruption was recorded as an explosion-type earthquake that lasted for 10 minutes. The volcano also ejected dark ash and voluminous steam, which is 3 to 4 kilometers above the summit vent and was accompanied by rumbling sound heard as far away as La Castellana, Negros Occidental.

Phivolcs also said that thin ashfall was experienced in Sitio Guintubdan, Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota City; Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana; and Barangay Ilihan, Bago City, Negros Occidental.

Degassing at the summit was observed to have began at 6:34 am and was detectable as continuous low-energy tremor during periods when the summit was not visible, the agency said.

Mount Kanlaon remains under Alert Level 2, which means that the volcano is undergoing a moderate level of unrest.

On November 15, Phivolcs has raised the alert status of Mount Kanlaon from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 after it recorded 279 volcanic earthquakes in the last 24 hours.

Although the volcanic quakes have declined in the following days, the agency didn’t lowered Mount Kanlaon’s alert status.

Local government units in Negros Occidental had already prepared a comprehensive contingency plan in case there will be major eruption. This includes their evacuation plans like the setting up of drop off points and evacuation centers.

Mount Kanlaon is the highest point in the Visayas at 2,465 meters (8,087 feet) above sea level. It straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. – Rappler.com