Phivolcs: Another Mt. Bulusan eruption still possible in coming days, weeks

Renato Solidum Jr. of Phivolcs. File photo / Joseph Vidal of Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Another phreatic eruption of Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon province is still possible, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Monday, but a raise to Alert Level 2 is not yet expected.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. said that based on previous eruptions, another eruption may occur in the following days, weeks or even months.


“Posibleng magkaroon pa ng pagsabog na kahalintulad ng kahapon na phreatic or steam-driven na explosion diyan sa Bulusan so dapat dito ay maging masunurin tayo sa mga pinagbabawal na Permanent Danger Zone,” he said in a public briefing.

(It is possible that another phreatic eruption will occur in Bulusan so we have to follow and keep out of the Permanent Danger Zone.)

Solidum, however, said that raising from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 is not seen yet as Phivolcs has not yet seen any indicators that magma is already present in the activities of the volcano.

He said they monitor the possible magmatic activity in the levels of sulfur dioxide, the accompanying earthquakes, and the overall appearance of the volcano.

“Ang ating measurement ng sulfur dioxide ay masyadong mababa o hindi ma-detect. Walang evidence sa gas, wala ring evidence sa pamamagitan ng mga lindol na nangyayari,” he said.

(The sulfur dioxide levels are low or not detectable. There is no evidence in gas nor earthquakes.)

“Kung talagang may magma na aakyat, dapat mamaga ang buong bulkan, mula sa ilalim hanggang sa taas at ito ay delikado kung may magma. Wala pa tayong nakikitang gano’n,” Solidum added.

(If there is magma that is rising, the volcano must swell from under and this is dangerous. For now, we aren’t seeing that.)

So far, the activity seen in the volcano is hydrothermal or the heating up of water, which also indicates that another explosion is possible.

Mt. Bulusan erupted on Sunday morning, with steam-rich gray plumes rising about a kilometer and raining down ash on several villages in the province.


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