Phivolcs raises possibility of another eruption of Mt. Kanlaon



As the saying goes “the lull before the storm”, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) expects the possibility of more eruption of Kanlaon volcano in Negros Island.

In a briefing with Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City Monday (June 10), which also attended by the local media, Phivolcs Chief Science Research Specialist Ma. Antonia Bornas said that if monitoring parameters are sustained, phreatic and short-lived explosive eruptions may subsequently occur and produce small-magnitude hazards that will endanger areas within the four-kilometer permanent danger zone.

Unrest is likely caused by the hydrothermal processes driven by magmatic degassing deep within the  volcanic edifice, Bornas said, as she stressed that Alert Level 2 will be maintained until such time that monitoring parameters significantly change.

Houses along the river bank in La Castellana being threatened by lahar flows. | Capitol PIO photo

As of 8 a.m. of June 10, Phivolcs logged six volcanic earthquakes, which is above the normal zero to five volcanic quakes, and sulfur dioxide flux of 3,304 tonnes on June 9, from the normal 300 tonnes per day, Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol said.

“But we just have to prepare, baka mag worsen ‘yung situation. So at least we are prepared for Alert Level 3. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst,” Bacolcol said.

Following heavy rains over Kanlaon volcano, water mixed with lahar was reported on Monday to have been dropping heavily at the Busay Kapid in Sitio Guintubdan, Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota City.

A week after its explosive eruption on June 3, the established trending of Kanlaon volcano remains at Alert Level 2, Bornas told Lacson.

If seismic, ground deformation and volcanic gas parameters worsen, magmatic eruption may become likely, she said, noting that the current unrest is likely being driven by stresses within the volcanic edifice produced by rising magma.

Eruptive activity could generate volcanic hazards that will endanger areas within the lava flow and four-kilometer permanent danger zone delineated by Phivolcs, she added.

Mayor Alme Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan reported on Monday that a total of 1,237 families, composed of 4,190 individuals, from barangays Masulog, Biak na Bato, Mansalanao, Cabagnaan and Sag-ang in La Castellana are now staying in evacuation centers.

Mangilimutan said that about 200 families are residing within the four-kilometer danger zone.

She, however, cannot established yet if these 200 families are among those who are now staying in evacuation centers.

Lacson said that the provincial government of Negros Occidental will continue supporting those in the evacuation center until such time Phivolcs will say it is safe to go home.

“We should not rush things. We should not encourage evacuees to go home,” he added. | GB