Friday, June 09, 2006

Bulusan volcano is responsible of alert following eruption

A volcano spewed ash and hot steam 2km into the air in the central Philippines, prompting scientists to raise the alert level in fear of a bigger eruption, government volcano monitors said Thursday.

The Bulusan volcano caused no damage to surrounding areas when it burst to life Wednesday night, but light ashfall was reported 5km to the north and traces of ash in Sorsogon city, 15km further north, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.The institute warned residents near the volcano to keep away from a 4km zone around the crater because of possible sudden explosions that could send superheated volcanic debris down its slopes.

The institute late Wednesday raised the second of a five-stage alert for the 1 560m volcano, about 390km south-east of Manila, because of "a continuing state of unrest which could lead to more frequent ash explosion or to hazardous magmatic eruption."

It was the fifth in a series of eruptions that so far have caused no damage or injuries since Bulusan erupted on March 21, the first time since 1995.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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