Friday, June 16, 2006

Bulusan spits out ashes!

Bulusan volcano spewed a one-kilometer high ash column early Tuesday evening, but it was weaker compared to the past six explosions since it began acting up on March 21, officials said.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded the explosion at 7:04 p.m. but said there was no need yet to raise the alert level to 3 as there were no signs of magma.
Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the explosion was "small" and the possibility of a major eruption was still far off.

"It’s not a big explosion because based on our seismograph record it’s even smaller than the May 31 explosion," he said.

"Most likely, the volcano will stop [spewing ash] for a while then it will explode again," Soldium said in a phone interview. "But the possibility of a bigger explosion is not imminent."

Lesty Saquilon, research specialist of Phivolcs Sorsogon, said Tuesday’s phreatic or ash explosion was weaker compared to the past six explosions since March 21.

It was not expected to cause damage and no new evacuation has been ordered, Solidum said.
Reports said the ash column, which drifted to the east, reached a height of one kilometer.

Casiguran Mayor Edwin Hamor, who was in the village of San Juan at the time of explosion, said ashfall was immediately felt in Casiguran but people in the streets were not worried since they were already prepared.

There was zero visibility in Juban due to the ashfall and residents went inside their homes as vehicles stopped to park on the roadside.

The 5,115-foot volcano, located in Sorsogon province about 390 kilometers southeast of Manila, emitted a continuous jet of steam after belching ash high into the sky overnight on March 21, the first time since November 1994.

On Wednesday last week, Bulusan spewed volcanic ash, damaging a number of houses in villages surrounding the mountain.

The volcano has had 15 recorded eruptions, the latest in 1994.

Twenty-two volcanoes are considered active in the Philippines, part of the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire" made up of islands created by volcanic activity on the Western Pacific.

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