Saturday, April 29, 2006

Volcano in Phillipine is displaying some activity

A Philippine volcano erupted on Saturday, belching ash 1.5 kilometers (about 1 mile) into the sky for the second time this year, the government volcano monitoring agency said.

“It’s already a mild eruption, but it’s not life threatening,” said Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Solidum said “very light ash” drifted towards the western side of the 1,560 meter (5,148-foot) Bulusan volcano, about 390 kilometers (244 miles) southeast of Manila. Bulusan erupted on March 21, the first time since 1995, spewing more ash than Saturday’s explosion.

Solidum said high sulfur dioxide gas readings several days earlier of more than 1,000 tons a day, more than double the normal level, suggested “renewed activity” of the volcano. However, there was no imminent danger of a violent eruption, he added.

He said authorities have raised only the lowest of a five-stage alert. The agency warned people to stay away from areas within four kilometers (2.5 miles) of the crater.

The Philippines is in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common.

In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the world’s biggest volcanic eruptions in the 20th century.

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