LEGAZPI CITY – Another phreatic eruption which lasted for 18 minutes occurred at Mount Bulusan located in Sorsogon province at 3:37 a.m. on Sunday.
In its advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Mount Bulusan generated 136 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.
"Local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) must be strictly prohibited and that vigilance in the 2-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeast sector must be exercised due to the increased possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions," it said.
Civil aviation authorities advised pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous.
People living within valleys and along the river/stream channels, especially on the southeast, southwest, and northwest sector of Bulusan's edifice, were advised to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall should a phreatic eruption occur.
The public is directed to take precautionary measures since the Alert Level 1 status remains over Mount Bulusan.
"Disaster risk reductions management offices of affected municipalities, as well as that of the province, have been activated to evacuate vulnerable people, check for respiratory concerns, and immediately start clean-up with elements of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine National Police and via our food-for-work program," Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero in his Facebook page said.
Escudero said it has been reported that five more barangays in the towns of Casiguran and Juban also experienced ashfall from Bulusan's phreatic eruption, while only two barangays -- Bacolod and Rangas -- in Juban suffered from heavy ashfall.
"Checkpoints are up to warn motorists of nearly zero visibility due to the ash along Maharlika Highway. Clean-up is ongoing," he added.
Meanwhile, Pilar Mayor Carolyn Sy-Reyes asked the public to wear masks at all times since ash fall has reached some areas of Pilar town. (PNA)